Golden Dawn leader in court

first_imgA man held for the stabbing told police he was a Golden Dawn supporter, though the party strongly denies any link.Mr Mihaloliakos faces charges including murder, assault and money-laundering.Greek media reports suggested Mr Mihaloliakos was set to accuse the prosecution of mounting a politically motivated case, while denying any Nazi sympathies.He was expected to deplore the killing of Pavlos Fyssas, and violence as a whole, the reports suggested.According to Greek law, he is required to set out a preliminary defence argument during his appearance before an investigative judge.The judge is due to decide – on the basis of the charges and the defence statement – whether to grant bail or remand Mr Mihaloliakos in custody pending his full trial, which the authorities are keen to conclude swiftly.Prosecutors found there was insufficient evidence to keep three of the MPs in detention. MP and party spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris was freed on Wednesday on bail of 50,000 euros (£42,000; $68,000) and banned from leaving the country. On leaving the court, Kasidiaris was filmed punching a video camera as he and his co-defendants barged journalists aside.Fellow MPs Ilias Panagiotaros and Nikos Michos were freed under travel bans but with no bail set. They too left court in a belligerent mood, insulting reporters as “losers” and “little slaves”.A fourth MP, Yannis Lagos, was remanded in custody. The plea session lasted 18 hours, Reuters news agency reports.Mr Mihaloliakos’s deputy, Christos Pappas, is set to appear in court in the coming days. The head of Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn party, Nikos Mihaloliakos, arrived in court to answer charges of organising a criminal group.He was one of six MPs arrested at the weekend amid outrage over the recent murder of an anti-racist musician.Three of the detained MPs have been freed pending trial while a fourth was remanded in custody.All four denied the charges against them during an earlier, lengthy court hearing in Athens.The fact that three were freed pending trial will raise questions over how watertight the government’s case against them actually is, the BBC’s Mark Lowen reports from the Greek capital.In all, 22 people were detained following the 18 September murder of Pavlos Fyssas. Any MPs finally convicted would lose their seats in parliament, prompting by-elections and – the government hopes – leading to the destruction of Greece’s neo-Nazi party, our correspondent says.During Tuesday’s court appearances, there was a heavy presence of riot police – a reminder that despite falling popularity in the opinion polls, the party still commands significant support, our correspondent says.Supporters outside court chanted slogans, including: “You are heroes!”center_img Details from witness testimony have been emerging about the way in which the party operatedSource: BBC  Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img

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