In a specially designed room of Greece’s largest prison, Korydallos, is expected to begin the trial of extreme right Golden Dawn party members and supporters on April 20. Among the 70 charged of running and belonging to the neo-Nazi criminal organization are its imprisoned leader Nikos Michaloliakos and also imprisoned MPs Ilias Kasidiaris, Christos Papas, Ioannis Lagos, Giorgos Germenis, Nikos Kouzoulos, Panagiotis Iliopoulos as well as ex member Stathis Mpoukouras and one underaged person that will be tried separately.
The above defendants have spent almost one and a half years in detention waiting for their trial. Although, the party leader as well as MPs Pappas and Lagos will be released on March 27, 24 days ahead of their trial, as the maximum 18-month period in pre-trial custody expires. Michaloliakos and Pappas will remain under house arrest as they face additional charges of weapons possession.
In his 700-page argument, the prosecutor handling the criminal investigation of Golden Dawn, proposed that a total of 70 party members should appear before the judge. According to his recommendation, every current or ex MP belonged to the criminal organization’s “hard core” that operated under the party’s cloak.
The prosecutor recited all the charges being brought against xenophobic Golden Dawn, underlining the murders of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas (a.k.a. Killah P) in September 2013 and Pakistani immigrant Luqman Shahzad in January 2013, as well as several individual assaults on foreign nationals and leftist activists, including the attack against PAME members in Piraeus, just a few days before Fyssas’ murder.
It should be noted that all of the 16 MPs Golden Dawn had in the previous Parliament, which was dissolved for the January 25 general elections, will appear before the judge. Thirteen of the MPs were re-elected along with four new members, making Golden Dawn the third largest party currently represented in Greek Parliament.
Currently, a total of 26 members -including the MPs- are behind bars.