Golden Dawn MP, Panagiotis Iliopoulos, will be running for Head of the Region of Thessaly, Greece, in the upcoming local elections, despite the fact that he is in pre-trial custody on charges of belonging to a criminal organization.
Panagiotis Iliopoulos — one of the six MPs of the Golden Dawn party that are in pre-trial custody as they face charges of participating in a criminal organization — announced his candidacy from his phone on Saturday.
Golden Dawn’s spokesmen, Ilias Kasidiaris and Ilias Panagiotaros who are facing similar charges and were set free under restraining orders, officially announced the party’s candidatures for Thessaly yesterday. The presentation took place in a hotel in the city of Larisa under heavy police presence.
Addressing the people by phone from Korydallos prison, Mr. Iliopoulos pressed fellow party members “to keep fighting until they prevail.”
The Greek neo-Nazis are accused of orchestrating attacks on immigrants and political opponents. A crackdown was ordered after one of their members killed an anti-fascist rapper, Pavlos Fyssas.
Six of the party’s 18 elected members MPs are currently behind bars awaiting trial and a total of nine have been indicted on charges of belonging to, or running a criminal organization.
Despite the high-profile investigation, Golden Dawn remains Greece’s third most popular party according to the latest opinion polls.