Greek police: Golden Dawn slaying was point-blank

Nov 2, 2013, 10:19 PM

ATHENS, Greece (AP) – Police investigating the slaying of two members of the far-right Golden Dawn party and the serious wounding of a third person said Saturday the assailant finished off his victims at point-blank range before escaping on a motorcycle driven by an accomplice.

The shooter fired 12 rounds from a Zastava Tokarev semi-automatic pistol in the Friday evening attack outside a suburban Athens office of the Nazi-inspired party. The bullet casings came from the same weapon, which has not been used in any previous case, police said in a statement.

The shooting came amid a government crackdown on the party following the fatal stabbing in September of an anti-fascist musician in Athens. A Golden Dawn supporter has been arrested and charged with murder in that case, though the party has denied any wrongdoing.

A police official, speaking on condition of anonymity because officers were not authorized to comment on the investigation, described to The Associate Press a video from a nearby security camera that confirmed accounts from Golden Dawn lawmakers that the assailant started firing from 15 meters (yards) away and finished off his victims at close range.

The gunman fired at a fourth, person, who managed to enter the building housing Golden Dawn’s local offices in the suburb of Neo Iraklio, north of Athens, escaping unharmed.

The video shows the assailant wearing a jockey cap, while the motorcycle driver was wearing a helmet, the official said.

A second official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said police found an abandoned motorcycle north of the site of the attack, which “almost certainly” was the one used by the assailants. The motorcycle had been declared stolen two weeks before and is being examined by forensic experts.

The names of the two dead have not yet been officially released, but they were named at a memorial service held Saturday evening outside the Golden Dawn offices where the attack took place.

They are 27-year-old Giorgos Fountoulis and 22-year-old Manolis Kapelonis. Golden Dawn has said that both were party members, but has called the wounded 29-year-old man “a fellow citizen.”

Golden Dawn spokesman and lawmaker Ilias Kassidiaris said “the souls of Giorgos and Manolis are guiding lights” for the whole country.

“The Greek people will remain united, and together will keep on moving forward during this difficult and critical period our homeland is going through,” he said.

The police’s counterterrorism squad is investigating the case. Suspicion has fallen on one of several far-left and anarchist extremist groups that have claimed to be behind violence that has killed two policemen and a journalist. No group has yet claimed responsibility.

Golden Dawn lawmakers blame the murder on authorities’ prosecution of party members, including the jailing of the party’s leader and deputy leader following last month’s killing of a left-wing rapper. The outcry following the murder has prompted authorities to investigate the party’s involvement in violent attacks and criminal activities.

Eleni Zaroulia, a lawmaker and wife of jailed Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos, accused Public Order and Citizen Protection minister Nikos Dendias of being “the moral instigator” of the two Friday murders. “Golden Dawn demands his resignation,” she told reporters on her way to a police precinct near her home, where she surrendered her gun.

Formerly a marginal organization with neo-Nazi roots and a reputation for violence, Golden Dawn had polled just 0.29 percent in a national election in 2009. It rode a wave of public anger over Greece’s financial crisis, rising crime rate and unchecked immigration to become the country’s fifth largest party.

It has steadily grown to third place in recent polls, although support has slipped since the prosecution of its leaders.

____

Srdjan Nedeljkovic and Raphael Kominis contributed to this report.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

World News

(Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for BoF VOICES)...
Associated Press

Vivienne Westwood, influential fashion maverick, dies at 81

Vivienne Westwood, an influential fashion maverick who played a key role in the punk movement, died Thursday at 81.
1 month ago
FILE - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during his first Cabinet meeting flanked by his ...
Associated Press

Rishi Sunak: UK’s ex-Treasury chief gets his shot at PM job

LONDON (AP) — Rishi Sunak ran for Britain’s top job and lost. Then he got another shot — and the chance to say “I told you so.” The former U.K. Treasury chief was runner-up to Liz Truss in the contest to replace the scandal-plagued Boris Johnson as Conservative Party leader and prime minister. But Truss […]
3 months ago
Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss addresses the media in Downing Street in London, Thursday, Oct. ...
Associated Press

Truss quits, but UK’s political and economic turmoil persist

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Liz Truss quit Thursday after a tumultuous and historically brief term marred by economic policies that roiled financial markets and a rebellion in her political party that obliterated her authority. After just 45 days in office, Truss became the third Conservative prime minister to be toppled in as many […]
4 months ago
People receive medical treatment at the scene of Russian shelling, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Oct. 1...
Associated Press

Russia unleashes biggest attacks in Ukraine in months

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia retaliated Monday for an attack on a critical bridge by unleashing its most widespread strikes against Ukraine in months, a lethal barrage that smashed civilian targets, knocked out power and water, shattered buildings and killed at least 14 people. Ukraine’s Emergency Service said nearly 100 people were wounded in the […]
4 months ago
This illustration made available by Johns Hopkins APL and NASA depicts NASA's DART probe, upper rig...
Associated Press

NASA spacecraft smashes into asteroid for defense test

A NASA spacecraft rammed an asteroid at blistering speed Monday in an unprecedented dress rehearsal for the day a killer rock menaces Earth.
4 months ago
Associated Press

At least 9 killed as Iran protests over woman’s death spread

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Clashes between Iranian security forces and protesters angry over the death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody have killed at least nine people since the violence erupted over the weekend, according to a tally Thursday by The Associated Press. The scope of Iran’s ongoing unrest, the worst in […]
5 months ago

Sponsored Articles

(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
...
Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Greek police: Golden Dawn slaying was point-blank