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Golden Dawn's leader jailed.

ATyNA (CyHAN)- Greece's Golden Dawn neo-Nazi party leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos was jailed on Thursday pending trial on criminal charges.

After a five-hour testimony, the court ordered the head of Golden Dawn to be sent to jail for running a criminal organisation.

Four lawmakers from Greece's Golden Dawn neo-Nazi party were charged Wednesday with belonging to a criminal organisation as authorities moved to dismantle the group after the murder of an anti-fascist musician.

The indictments -- the first ever against neo-Nazi MPs in Greece -- were unveiled as Golden Dawn's leader was due to appear in court later Wednesday to face the same charge.

Three of those indicted Wednesday were conditionally released, a move seen as surprising given the gravity of the charges, but justice officials later stressed that release did not mean acquittal.

Overall some two dozen people including six Golden Dawn lawmakers, lower-ranking party members and three police officers, face charges ranging from attempted homicide and murder to illegal arms possession and belonging to a criminal organisation.

Golden Dawn denies all the accusations and says it is the victim of political persecution designed to stem its rise ahead of local elections next year.

Once a fringe party, Golden Dawn rode a wave of public discontent during last year's elections over unchecked immigration and austerity policies in the recession-hit country to enter parliament for the first time.

Golden Dawn was the country's third most popular party until the murder of anti-fascist hip-hop musician Pavlos Fyssas on September 18 sparked nationwide protests and a government crackdown on the group long accused of attacking immigrant. (Cihan/ AFP)

SHOT LIST

Thursday, October 03, 2013 SOURCE: CHA

ATHENS, GREECE

VAR of police officers and press members

VAR of Golden Dawn members chanting slogans

Golden Dawn leader brought by policemen wearing ski masks along with other suspects

DURATION: 00:50

CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Date:Oct 3, 2013
Words:320
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