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Head of Greek neo-Nazi Party Golden Dawn in Jail

Nikos Michaloliakos, leader of far-right party Golden Dawn, is in jail pending charges of running a criminal organization

By: Graham Sigurdson
Published: October 4th, 2013 in News » World
Nikos Michaloliakos in police custody

Nikos Michaloliakos, the head of Greece’s extremist far-right Golden Dawn party, was jailed Thursday, pending trial on charges of running a criminal organization following an investigation into the group, known for having a fascist agenda, triggered by the murder of left-wing, anti-racist rapper Pavolos Fyssas a.k.a. Killah P.

Michaloliakos, a sitting member of the Greek parliament, was ordered into custody early Thursday, according to a report from the Associated Press, following a six hour testimony. Police led Michaloliakos away from the courthouse in handcuffs as his wife and daughter (also party members) stood by and shouted words of encouragement.

On Wednesday, the court released three of four jailed Golden Dawn lawmakers, all of whom have denied the charges against them. Michaloliakos was among 20 people jailed in a crackdown against Golden Dawn following the Sept. 17 stabbing of anti-fascist singer Pavolos Fyssas.

A man arrested immediately following the attack identified himself as a member of Golden Dawn.

Giorgos Patelis, the local office head of the area in which Fyssas was stabbed was also remanded in custody. Furthermore, Christos Pappas, who has been identified as Michaloliakos’ second in command, appeared for a preliminary hearing on Thursday morning. Of course, the party has denied any involvement in the killing.

Since regaining democracy in 1974, following the 7-year military junta, no sitting members of the Greek parliament have been arrested or jailed. The government has vowed to eradicate Golden Dawn, arguing that their operations are that of a criminal organization, and not a political party.

Amidst Greece’s financial crisis, Golden Dawn, which has been described as a "Nazi creation," moved from the margins of the political scene to become the third most popular party in Greece.

In 2012 the group received 7 percent of the vote, and 18 seats in the 300 seat parliament. In the time since, and even before, the party has been blamed for a series of violent attacks, mostly against immigrants. Golden Dawn, of course, denies everything. It is notable, however, that in 2012 a spokesman for the group punched a female politician in the face on live television...

Human Rights groups and medical charities have been warning of an increase in the frequency of attacks attributed to Golden Dawn members and supporters. In January, two men were arrested for fatally stabbing a Pakistani migrant, and were believed to be connected to the group. Fyssas’ death is the most serious incident directly attributed to an alleged member.

32 arrest warrants were issued, with two being for police officers. Authorities continue to raid the homes of officers suspected of having ties to criminal activities, and links to Golden Dawn.

Related articles: Golden Dawn, neo-Nazi, anti-Semitism, World News, Jewish News, Nikos Michaloliakos
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