Connect to share and comment

Greek parliament lifts immunity of Golden Dawn lawmakers

PlacardEnlarge
(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Greece's parliament on Wednesday lifted the legal immunity of three MPs from the Golden Dawn neo-Nazi party who are facing charges of belonging to a criminal organisation.

The chamber also lifted the immunity of three more of the party's lawmakers on lesser charges, amid a month-long crackdown on Golden Dawn's activities following the murder of an anti-fascist musician in September.

A majority of over two-thirds in the 180-seat chamber voted to lift the immunity of George Germenis, Efstathios Boukouras and Panagiotis Iliopoulos.

In addition, party spokesman Ilias Kassidiaris and fellow lawmakers Ilias Panagiotaros and Chrysovalantis Alexopoulos will be called to answer lesser charges, a process that first required parliamentary approval.

Kassidiaris and Panagiotaros were already indicted earlier this month, and conditionally freed, on the charge of belonging to a criminal organisation.

Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos, his deputy Christos Pappas and lawmaker Yiannis Lagos are already being held in Athens's high security Korydallos prison over the case.

The probe into Golden Dawn was prompted by the murder of hip hop artist Pavlos Fyssas by a self-confessed neo-Nazi supporter last month.

Witnesses have since testified that senior party members were involved in migrant beatings, extortion and possible arms smuggling.

The authorities are also moving to cut the party's access to state funding, in a vote to take place on Thursday.

jph/dh

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131016/greek-parliament-lifts-immunity-golden-dawn-lawmakers