Justice closes in on Golden Dawn

Prosecutors are close to gathering enough evidence to bring charges against five Golden Dawn lawmakers and possibly issue warrants for their arrest, sources told Kathimerini Friday.

Supreme Court prosecutor Haralambos Vourliotis, who is overseeing the probe into the neofascist party after last week’s murder of rapper Pavlos Fyssas, has tied phone records to other evidence that has been gathered to substantiate claims that MPs were involved in criminal activity. There is also evidence, including testimony from former party members, to suggest that the party operated with a clear chain of command, which would help prosecutors prove that it was an organized criminal gang. This would mean anyone convicted of being part of its illegal activity would face stiffer sentences.

“It is our common belief that the process needs to be speeded up so we have results quickly and this serious case does not drag on,” said Justice Minister Haralambos Athanasiou.

Golden Dawn, which has seen its poll ratings drop in the last few days, hit back Friday by filing a law suit against PASOK. The neo-Nazi party accused the Socialists of mismanaging their state funding between 2007 and 2010. “We submitted a case file that will led to PASOK being thrown into jail,” said Golden Dawn MP Christos Pappas, who was one of four of the party’s deputies that went to the Supreme Court Friday. “It is an immoral party that has stolen from the Greek people.” PASOK brushed off the incident, saying it would not be scared off by the actions of a “criminal, Nazi organization.”

The option of snap elections if Golden Dawn’s MPs quit Parliament was seemingly taken off the table by government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou Friday. “Democratic normality and calm are necessary if the country is to exit the crisis and they remain the government’s priorities,” he said, while accusing SYRIZA, which is in favor of elections, of trying to create political upheaval.

The head of the counter-espionage section at the National Intelligence Service (EYP), Dimos Kouzilos, was replaced Friday. Unconfirmed reports said that someone close to the official, possibly a relative, had links to Golden Dawn.

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