Golden Dawn using legal tricks to delay trial

MPs and members of Golden Dawn are using legal tactics to drag out a criminal investigation into the neofascist party and postpone the beginning of a trial planned for November so that suspects can be released from pretrial custody before judges can decide their fate, Kathimerini understands.

Of some 30 MPs and party members who are in pretrial custody in connection with a string of crimes including the murder of leftist rapper Pavlos Fyssas by a party supporter last year, more than 10 have applied for conditional release.

The detainees have the right to make such appeals but the fact that a large number of them are being made at the same time suggests that the aim is to obstruct magistrates from concluding their investigation.

If the planned launch of the trial is put off beyond November, many of the suspects may be able to secure their release as they will likely have served the maximum of 18 months in pretrial custody before the trial concludes.

Another obstructive tactic suspects are using is to propose new witnesses for the magistrates to examine. According to sources, the two magistrates leading the investigation, Ioanna Klapa and Maria Dimitropoulou, have been asked to question at least 13 new witnesses. Although the suspects’ tactics appear to be abusive, according to judicial sources, the law is on their side.

A recent proposal for a legislative amendment that would give magistrates more room for maneuver was rejected.