Police Arrest Golden Dawn Leader, MPs
Monday, 30 September 2013
Greek police arrested the leader and more than a dozen senior members of the far-right Golden Dawn party early on Saturday after the murder of an anti-fascist rapper by a party supporter set off a wave of protests across the country, Reuters reported.
The party’s spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris said the party's leader, Nikolaos Mihaloliakos, three other lawmakers and 13 other members of the party were arrested on charges of founding and participating in a criminal organization, the news agency said. Police also confiscated two guns and a hunting rifle from Mihaloliakos' home, saying he did not have a licence for them.
Golden Dawn has denied any links to the murder of rapper Pavlos Fissas.
Late in the evening, the detainees were taken to the prosecutors' office and charged officially on evidence linking the party with a string of attacks, including the stabbing of the rapper and the killing of an immigrant earlier this year, court officials told Reuters.
Mihaloliakos has threatened to pull the party’s 18 MPs from parliament. However, a government official has said that Greece might be able to avoid by-elections depending on how the constitution is interpreted.