Turmoil in Golden Dawn grows as MP ousted

Golden Dawn on Tuesday ousted one of its lawmakers, Stathis Boukouras (photo), from its parliamentary group, a move that will bring the number of seats the neofascist party holds in Parliament to 16 from 18 if Boukouras does not cede his seat to another GD candidate.

The decision came just a few days after another MP, Chrysovalantis Alexopoulos, effectively resigned by saying he would stand as an independent in Greece’s Parliament. GD made the move after Boukouras allegedly suggested that he was considering following Alexopoulos’s lead.

Six of the party’s MPs, including leader Nikos Michaloliakos, are in custody pending trial on charges of running a criminal organization. Judges investigating the party have extended their probe into the activities of the remaining MPs and last month asked Parliament to lift the immunity of another nine lawmakers.

On Tuesday members of the House’s ethics committee proposed that the MP Dimitris Koukoutsis have his immunity lifted so he can face criminal charges of running a criminal organization. The committee also voted in favor of three GD lawmakers who are already in custody pending trial – Michaloliakos, Christos Pappas and Yiannis Lagos – having their immunity lifted for prosecution on charges of illegally supplying and possessing weapons.

The decision followed a visit to Attica’s Korydallos Prison where the three MPs are being held. According to sources, Lagos was questioned about some bullets found during a police search at his home and allegedly said he was saving them to kill four or five people when he gets out of jail.