Tuesday 12 December 2017

Greek far-right leader faces trial

The leader of Greece's extreme right Golden Dawn party will stand trial on criminal charges
The leader of Greece's extreme right Golden Dawn party will stand trial on criminal charges

The leader and other members of Greece's extreme right Golden Dawn party will stand trial on criminal charges of participating in a criminal group - an offence that carries a 20-year prison sentence.

A judicial panel in Greece has ruled that all 18 Golden Dawn members who held seats in the country's previous parliament will stand trial, along with 52 other defendants.

Golden Dawn, originally founded as a neo-Nazi party, came third in parliamentary elections last month.

No trial date was set.

Thirteen of the 18 members standing trial were re-elected in the January 25 polls and were due to be sworn in on Thursday when the new 300-member parliament holds its opening session.

It wasn't immediately clear how Wednesday's ruling would affect the situation in parliament.

A police crackdown against the party was launched in September 2013, following the murder of Greek rap singer Pavlos Fyssas, allegedly by a Golden Dawn volunteer.

Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos was arrested several days later and has been in pre-trial detention ever since. The party argues that its senior members are victims of political conspiracy aimed at stemming their surge in popularity during Greece's major financial crisis.

Press Association

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