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Golden Dawn Leader and MPs to Stand Trial

goldenA judicial panel in Greece has ruled on Wednesday that the leader and MPs of the extreme right Golden Dawn party will stand trial on criminal charges of participating in a criminal organization.
The Athens Council of Appeals decided, with votes 2-1, that Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos and the party’s whole parliamentary group should be tried for forming and running a criminal organization, an offense that carries a 20-year prison sentence.
The panel voted that all 18 Golden Dawn MPs who held seats in Greece’s previous Parliament will stand trial, along with 54 other defendants who are party members.
The neo-Nazi party came third in the January 25 election after getting 6.28% of the vote, thereby taking 17 seats in the House.
The 72 defendants are facing various charges for offenses such as murder, attempted murder, grievous bodily harm and arson. Those who are already in jail, will remain in custody.
The judge who voted against said that there was no evidence of the offense of running a criminal organization because according to the Treaty of Palermo, which is ratified by Greece, in order to establish the offense of running a criminal organization, the accused must have financial benefit from the criminal activity.

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