The trial of the leadership and dozens of members of neofascist Golden Dawn, which is due to resume on Tuesday at a special courtroom at Korydallos Prison, will be moved to a new venue at the Court of Appeals, Justice Minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos said on Monday, responding to protests by local authorities and residents. However, Paraskevopoulos added that the new courtroom will not be ready until September.
Speaking after talks with Korydallos Mayor Stavros Kasimatis as well as regional officials, the minister said he was prepared to help locals find an “interim solution” before September. He suggested, however, that a swift venue relocation would require an appeal to be made by presiding judge Maria Lepenioti. The latter had indicated last month, when the trial started, that it was in the Justice Ministry’s remit to solve the problem.
It remained unclear late on Monday whether schools would be closed for the day in Korydallos as they were on April 20, when the trial opened, and last Thursday, when it briefly resumed.
Last week, an Athens court imposed a 12-month prison sentence on neofascist Golden Dawn lawmaker Ilias Panayiotaros after finding him guilty of slandering the former regional governor of Athens, Yiannis Sgouros.
The conviction relates to comments by Panayiotaros on Kontra TV channel in the countdown to local authority elections last year, when the GD MP accused Sgouros of corruption and vested interests.