Greece's Golden Dawn members to face trial

If found guilty of charges of leading and participating in criminal organization party could be dissolved

Greece's Golden Dawn members to face trial

World Bulletin/News Desk

The prosecutor in a case involving Greek neo-Nazi political group Golden Dawn has ruled that members should stand trial for leading and participating in a criminal organization - a case that could lead to the party's dissolution.

In a 700-page report released late Thursday, Isidoros Doyiakos argued that 70 of the 85 of members of the party - including leader Nikos Michaloliakos and his deputies - should stand trial.

Party members have been charged with several offences, including the murder of Greek anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas, and attacks on members of the Communist Party of Greece and on migrants.

According to the Greek newspaper Kathimerini, the report stated "a party that seeks to achieve its goals through the use of physical or armed force is not legal."

He stressed that if the trial leads to convictions on criminal charges then this could signal the end of Golden Dawn.

Six party members - including leader Michaloliakos and spokesperson Ilias Kasidiaris, who ran for the post of mayor of Athens in 2014, winning 16.1 percent of the vote - are facing additional charges of gun possession in order to supply a criminal organization.

Michaloliakos is a former member of nationalist youth organization Ethniki Politiki Enosis (National Political Union), which is led by former military dictator Georgios Papadopoulos who ruled the country from 1967 to 1974.

Golden Dawn was formed in 1980, but wasn't 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 and enabling it to enter parliament for the first time.

It then took 9.4 percent in 2014 European elections, giving it three seats in the European 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: 17 Ekim 2014, 14:46

Muhammed Öylek

YORUM EKLE