Right-wing Greek lawmaker arrested, awaiting extradition decision
BRUSSELS (AP) – A far-right Greek member of the European Parliament on Wednesday refused to be extradited from Belgium to Greece to serve a 13-year prison sentence for being a high-ranking member of a criminal organization, said the Brussels public prosecutor’s office.
Ioannis Lagos has lived in Brussels, the Belgian capital, since a Greek court sentenced him in October, along with 17 other former Greek parliamentarians from the far-right Golden Dawn party, for leading or being a member of a criminal organization.
Lagos was taken into custody on Tuesday after, paving the way for his dispatch to Athens on a European arrest warrant. He appeared before a Belgian judge on Wednesday morning.
The Brussels public prosecutor’s office said in a statement that Lagos “did not agree to be handed over to the Greek authorities. The judge decided to take him into custody.
He said the court would decide within the next 15 days whether Lagos should be extradited.
Golden Dawn was founded as a Nazi-inspired group in the 1980s. It gained popularity during the Greek financial crisis from 2010 to 2018, gaining parliamentary representation between 2012 and 2019.
The five-year trial was launched following the 2013 murder of leftist rapper and activist Pavlos Fyssas, who was stabbed to death by a Golden Dawn supporter.
The other convicted members of Golden Dawn are already in jail, except for one who has escaped and is officially a fugitive.