Greek authorities have arrested a convicted member of the National Socialist Golden Dawn party after nine months on the run, a government minister said.
Christos Pappas, the party’s deputy leader, was taken into custody in Athens. He is among six former lawmakers sentenced to 13 years in prison after a landmark trial in October that found that Golden Dawn had operated as a "criminal organization", systematically carrying out attacks on antifascists and non-white invaders.
He absconded shortly before the sentences were announced in mid-October, but will now join the rest of the organization’s leadership in prison.
Initially, the police had suspected that Mr. Pappas, 59, might have fled abroad, and an international arrest warrant was issued this January. However, it turned out that he was much closer to home: The police said that officers had traced him to an apartment near central Athens, and arrested him along with a 52-year-old woman.
Golden Dawn’s decline was as dramatic as its rise, prompted by the murder of the communist rapper Pavlos Fyssas in 2013 by one of its members, Giorgos Roupakias. The murder led to the arrest of the party leadership and a five-year political persecution that put most of its politicians and dozens of its supporters in jail.
Mr. Pappas was one of two prominent Golden Dawn members who evaded prison after their conviction. The second was Ioannis Lagos, a member of the European Parliament who had taken advantage of his immunity to evade his sentence until fellow European lawmakers revoked it. That led to his extradition to Greece in May.