independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Golden Dawn politicians in court

Golden Dawn party leader Nikos Michaloliakos exits a court room in Athens (AP)

Four politicians from the extremist right-wing Golden Dawn party are due in court for a preliminary hearing into charges of participating in a criminal organisation.

Ilias Kassidiaris, who is also the party's spokesman, Ilias Panagiotaros, Yiannis Lagos and Nikos Mihos are to appear this afternoon for a deposition. Another three party members are scheduled to appear earlier in the day.

The party's top figures, including its leader, are among 22 people arrested in a crackdown on the Nazi-inspired party sparked by the fatal stabbing on September 17 of a Greek rap singer. Arrest warrants have been issued for another 10 people.

Golden Dawn rose from a fringe group to become Greece's third most popular party in recent years, riding on a wave of anger over the country's deep financial crisis. It won nearly 7% of the vote and gained 18 seats in the country's 300-member parliament in elections last year.

Party members and even politicians have frequently been accused in the past of being behind numerous violent attacks, mostly against dark-skinned migrants.

Party leader Nikos Michaloliakos is to appear in court for his deposition tomorrow, while a sixth politician heads there on Thursday.

AP

Press Association

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