Golden Dawn probe to resume after appeal rejected

Magistrates to hear MPs’ testimonies after leader’s objection rebuffed

The two magistrates leading a criminal investigation into Golden Dawn are set to resume hearing testimonies from MPs of the neofascist party on Wednesday after a judicial council rejected an appeal by detained GD leader Nikos Michaloliakos for them to be dismissed due to alleged bias.

The Council of Appeals Court Judges rejected Michaloliakos’s request, which was based on allegations that the magistrates, Ioanna Klapa and Maria Dimitropoulou, were coercing Stathis Boukouras, a Golden Dawn MP who left the party in March, to testify against GD. The council found that the appeal constituted an abusive use of legal tactics aimed at obstructing the investigation.

Unless a new legal complication arises, the magistrates are Wednesday scheduled to hear the testimony of Eleni Zaroulia, a GD lawmaker and Michaloliakos’s wife, and another MP, Constantinos Barbaroussis.

According to sources, Klapa and Dimitropoulou plan to summon the remaining GD lawmakers over the coming weeks with the aim of hearing all their testimonies by the end of July. Their goal is for the case against Golden Dawn to go to trial late this year or in early 2015, the sources said.

As the investigation into Golden Dawn’s alleged criminal activities gets under way, a series of photographs published on Monday, showing leading party officials performing the Nazi salute in front of flags with swastikas, bolster a wealth of evidence pointing to GD members’ Nazi sympathies.