Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos and party MP Yiannis Lagos were Friday given a home detention order and banned from leaving the country after defending themselves on charges of illegal weapons possession.
Christos Pappas, the neofascist party’s second-in-command who was facing an additional charge of creating an illegal archive, was granted unconditional release. Michaloliakos and Pappas refused to answer any of the questions, while Lagos denied the charges.
Friday’s decision by the Athens court was inconsequential in practice as all three defendants were returned to custody pending trial on the more serious charges of setting up and running a criminal organization.
Friday, police fired tear gas to disperse dozens of Golden Dawn supporters who had gathered outside the court as the three defendants were transferred from Korydallos Prison. Chanting “Blood, honor, Golden Dawn,” protesters attacked photojournalists, injuring two of them.
The attack was condemned by the journalists’ and the photojournalists’ unions (POESY and EFE, respectively) who also demanded action from Public Order Minister Vassilis Kililias. Junior coalition partner PASOK also condemned the incident.
GD spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris and MP Nikos Michos are set to appear before magistrates next week after they were given extra time to prepare their defense on charges of illegal weapons possession on Thursday.