Unidentified defector tells US organisation Human Rights First that a New Democracy businessman gave financial backing to his Golden Dawn branch because he wanted it to do well in the 2012 elections so that New Democracy could end its coalition with socialist Pasok and team up with Golden Dawn instead.
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A provincial branch of the neonazi Golden Dawn party was bankrolled by a wealthy businessman who was a member of New Democracy and it enjoyed immunity from the police, a Golden Dawn defector has told a leading US human rights organisation.
The unidentified man told Human Rights First that the businessman gave financial backing to Golden Dawn because he wanted it to do well in the 2012 elections so that New Democracy could end its uneasy coalition with socialist Pasok and team up with Golden Dawn instead.
“Golden Dawn is the militia arm of New Democracy,” the businessman told the defector, who will be a witness in the forthcoming criminal case against leading Golden Dawn figures, which is due to start in November. He said the businessman also spent more than $1,500 (€1,100) on military outfits for its cadres. The businessman also paid for their offices and gave them advice, including “Don’t go and attack migrants in the middle of the day.”
The defector also told Human Rights First that his Golden Dawn unit enjoyed immunity from the police.
“The police had specific orders not to touch us,” he said, adding that when four Golden Dawn members attacked two Pakistani migrants and beat them “really, really badly”, he received a phone call from the local police chief who had ties to the local Golden Dawn boss and told him the case would not be investigated.
“Once they realised they could operate with impunity, they turned to intimidation for profit, evicting recalcitrant tenants and collecting debts,” the report continues.
The man said that his Golden Dawn branch had over 2,000 members and was located in an area with a 50% unemployment rate.