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Greece Probes Golden Dawn Finances

Golden Dawn MP Ilias Panagiotaros taken into custody
Golden Dawn MP Ilias Panagiotaros taken into custody

As Greece prosecutes the leaders of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party on charges of running a criminal gang, investigators said they want access to financial records and bank accounts of the suspects and are asking the help of the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) and an independent anti-money laundering committee.
The probers said they need the data from the 32 people arrested so far, including six Members of Parliament so they can get to the bottom of how the party operates.
They are also asking for Parliament’s help to give them more time and for the body to lift the immunity of three Golden Dawn MPs – Giorgos Germenis, Panagiotis Iliopoulos and Stathis Boukouras. The three MPs face the same charges as their six peers arrested last week.
The investigation is said to be widening their probe to include the three after former party members testified the MPs played a key role in organizing attacks on immigrants and recruiting new members.
Boukouras was said to be storing and trading in weapons and to have had “absolute control” over the party’s activities in Corinth, including attacks on immigrants and protection rackets. Boukouras and Golden Dawn members in Corinth are accused of being involved in a range of crimes, including assaults on leftists and the blackmail of local politicians and businessmen.
The newspaper Kathimerini reported that it was told by unidentified sources that at least 10 more former members and supporters have asked to testify as protected witnesses, fearing reprisals and as another said she was threatened with being burned alive if she talked.
Parliament’s ethics committee is on Oct. 9 to examine the judiciary’s request for the immunity of the three MPs to be lifted. It will also examine requests to lift the immunity of MPs Ilias Panagiotaros and Ilias Kasidiaris, two of three GD MPs released pending trial last week, for separate cases of disturbing the peace, and of Chrysovalantis Alexopoulos for operating an illegal radio station in Larissa, central Greece.
The MPs are to be summoned by the committee within two days while the House’s plenary session is to convene next week to debate the issue and decide when to vote.
A police crackdown on GD continued on Oct. 8 with the arrest of Yiannis Kazatzoglou, 34, who was allegedly a passenger in the vehicle driven by Giorgos Roupakias on the night of the murder of leftist rapper Pavlos Fyssas last month. Roupakias, who has been charged with Fyssas’s murder though claims to have stabbed the rapper in self-defense, is to defend himself before an investigating magistrate on Oct. 8.

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