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Tuesday, 01 December 2020

Greece prosecutor demands provisional release of neo-Nazi party members

During the trial, prosecutors successfully argued that Golden Dawn was a criminal organisation run by Michaloliakos using a military-style hierarchy modelled on Hitler's Nazi party.

AFP , Monday 19 Oct 2020
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Athens prosecutors on Monday called for the provisional release, pending appeal, of members of Greece's neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn who were sentenced to up to 13 years in prison last week for running a criminal organisation linked to hate crimes.

The convicted "have not yet violated the conditions of their provisional release," prosecutor Adamantia Economou told a three-judge panel,

Last December, she had demanded the party leaders be acquitted.

Her request for conditional release for some 50 party members immediately met with a storm of protest by leftist parties and the anti-fascist movement

"Nazis to prison, no return to impunity", said anti-fascist group KEERFA in a statement, slamming Economou's demands as a "gift for neonazis."

"Golden Dawn was convicted because it was undermining democratic institutions," the plaintiffs' lawyer, Panayiotis Sapountzakis, said, according to the ANA news agency.

Last week, the leader of Greece's neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn, Nikos Michaloliakos, and his inner circle were handed 13-year prison sentences in a trial seen as one of the most important in the country's modern political history.

During the trial, prosecutors successfully argued that Golden Dawn was a criminal organisation run by Michaloliakos using a military-style hierarchy modelled on Hitler's Nazi party.

Prosecutors outlined how the group formed militia dressed in black who patrolled the streets, often armed with knuckle dusters, crowbars and knives.

A search of party members' homes in 2013 uncovered firearms and other weapons, as well as Nazi memorabilia.

For 62-year-old Michaloliakos, the sentence capped a stunning downfall for a politician whose party was the country's third most popular in 2015, the year the trial began.

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