Jailed ex-Golden Dawn MP cleared of irregular calls

Jailed ex-Golden Dawn MP cleared of irregular calls

The disciplinary board at maximum-security Domokos Prison, in central Greece, where former Golden Dawn official Ilias Kasidiaris is serving his sentence for running a criminal organization as a leading member of the neo-Nazi outfit, acquitted him or irregular telephone communications during a meeting on May 5. 

Questions have arisen about how Kasidiaris has been able to launch a new political party and run a moderately successful election campaign from prison. The meeting was originally scheduled for April 20 but it was postponed.

The disciplinary offense for which he had been referred was that of insubordination, as he had allegedly breached an earlier decision by the prison board to restrict his communications.

“The disciplinary offense of insubordination was not proven, as it did not appear that he violated the legal orders of the staff during the telephone conversations in question,” the official document issued by the board states. The board meeting was attended by the prison director, a supervising prosecutor and a social worker and the decision was unanimous.

Kasidiaris’ lawyer, Vaso Pantazis, told Kathimerini on Wednesday that a decision issued by the Justice Ministry’s General Secretariat of Anti-Criminal Policy on April 13 on the same matter was decisive for the outcome of the proceedings. The decision stated that “the competent bodies of the penitentiary undertake the necessary checks to observe the terms of telephone communication without having established to date any omission or violation of these terms.”

Recently, sources from the of ministry’s general secretariat had said that Kasidiaris talks with his lawyer and relatives, and that it is not possible to check the content of his conversations. Two years ago, however, the prison’s disciplinary board had decided to restrict Kasidiaris’ communications due to news reports at the time, according to which he was running a campaign from inside the prison.

Despite restrictions on communications, the convicted neo-Nazi has 135,000 followers on YouTube – his main campaigning tool – and another 41,000 on Twitter, among other platforms. He was banned from Facebook in 2013 for hate speech.

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