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Greek prosecutor orders all Golden Dawn MPs to face criminal trial

16 October 2014

Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos is escorted by anti-terror police in Athens

In a decision that could mark the end of Europe’s most violent neo-Nazi force, a Greek public prosecutor on Thursday demanded that Golden Dawn’s entire parliamentary group stand trial for criminal offences.

The order, outlined in a 700-page argument by state prosecutor Isidoros Doyiakos, said that more than 50 leading party cadres should also be tried for using the far-right group as a political front to pursue a litany of illegal activities.

“This is an extremely important development and no time should now be wasted in holding this trial and putting these criminals away for life,” said Petros Constantinou, a prominent member of the anti-fascist Antarsya whose supporters have been widely targeted by the extremists. “Their murderous tactics have been tolerated for far too long.”

In his dossier, Doyiakos accused the suspects of murder, weapons offences and multiple attacks on immigrants, leftists and gay people over a period of more than 30 years. The severity of the charges was such that all of the party’s MPs, including its imprisoned leader, Nikos Michaloliakos, should face justice, he said.

Once a fringe player on the Greek political scene, Golden Dawn saw its popularity soar on the back of anti-immigrant rhetoric when the debt-stricken country descended into crisis five years ago. After entrenching their position as Greece’s third political force with a surprisingly strong performance in local and European elections in May, the extremists have recently seen their support drop amid revelations of the party’s criminal reach.

The crackdown against the organisation, whose leaders openly applaud Adolf Hitler, was launched after a senior cadre stabbed a left wing rapper to death in Athens last year.

All 16 of Golden Dawn’s MPs are currently in custody pending trial. Two lawmakers, who defected earlier this year should also be tried, the prosecutor said.

Court sources said the decision opened the way for the neo-fascists to be brought to trial in the coming months.


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