Police probe officer standing for Golden Dawn in polls

Candidate said to have addressed Cretan party rally where MP did Nazi salute

The Greek Police has launched an internal investigation following reports that a police officer on the island of Crete is to stand as a candidate on the ticket of neofascist Golden Dawn in local authority elections in May, reports said Monday.

The candidate, who was not named, addressed a party gathering on Sunday at the port of Hersonissos, according to local reports. Televised footage from the event has been given to a prosecutor.

The same event was attended by Golden Dawn MP Michalis Arvanitis who used a Nazi salute to greet party supporters. The incident caused an uproar on social media but Arvanitis responded that the salute was an ancient Greek gesture, not a Nazi one, as party officials have insisted in the past.

The party is to run under the name National Dawn in the elections as nine of its MPs already face criminal charges and the remaining nine are to be charged with forming a criminal organization.

Party spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris, one of the nine MPs already charged with membership of a criminal organization, was present at the Hersonissos event along with other MPs.

In a related development, it emerged that the evidence collected by magistrates to support their request for the parliamentary immunity of the remaining nine GD MPs to be lifted contains testimony from a former party member who claims he was stabbed several times last year after quitting the group.