Court postpones Greek fascist trial

Far-right Golden Dawn leaders face trial over whether their group is a legitimate party or a criminal organisation working under a political leadership title.

Court postpones Greek fascist trial

World Bulletin / News Desk

 A high-profile trial into Greece’s controversial far-right Golden Dawn party began in Korydallos, near Athens today but was quickly adjourned until May 7.

The Greek courts will be called on to decide whether the far-right group is a legitimate political party or a criminal organization operating under the guise of a political party.

It is the first time since World War Two that a parliamentary party has been charged with being a criminal organization.

The party’s leadership is on trial and many defendants, including Golden Dawn leader Nikos Mihaloliakos were absent. A list of witnesses included Athens mayor George Kaminis and a deputy from the ruling Syriza party, Vassiliki Katrivanou.

According to Chief Prosecutor Isidoros Dogiakos, the origin of Golden Dawn was an "abusive exercise of the right to found a party."

Dogiakos argued that the party did not serve the operation of a democratic system of government and sought to impose its goals through violence.

Judges will also decide if certain acts linked to the party were from the “implementation of its founding principles” or whether they were isolated incidents.

The investigation regarding Golden Dawn was launched after the murder of leftist musician Pavlos Fyssas by Giorgos Roupakias in September 2013, in an attack that involved other Golden Dawn supporters.

The trial is also expected to look into the murder of a Pakistani worker, attacks on Communist Party of Greece members in Perama, attacks on Egyptian fishermen and whether Golden Dawn is connected with those incidents.

Golden Dawn was formed in 1980 but was not registered as a political party until 1993. Its political breakthrough came in the 2012 elections when it received 6.92 percent of the vote, making it Greece's fifth-largest political group, enabling it to enter parliament for the first time.

It then took 9.4 percent of the vote in the 2014 European elections, giving it three seats in the European Parliament.

Golden Dawn got 6.31 percent of votes in the Jan. 25 national elections, giving it 17 seats in parliament.

Its rise coincided with the European economic crisis that saw Greece suffer tremendous recession, job losses and budget cuts, which led to a bailout from European Union partners and strict austerity measures.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Nisan 2015, 17:48