Four of the six Golden Dawn deputies facing charges of participating in a criminal organization were being deposed by an Athens prosecutor on Tuesday afternoon amid tight security at the Greek capital’s main courthouse complex, where a few dozen supporters of the extreme far-right group gathered to express their support.
Golden Dawn spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris and deputies Yiannis Lagos, Ilias Panagiotaros and Nikos Michos were to respond to charges that they were involved in criminal activities overseen by the party’s chief Nikos Michaloliakos, and that they knew of the murder by a party member of anti-fascist hip-hop artist Pavlos Fyssas on September 17.
Golden Dawn supporters applauded as the four deputies were escorted into the Athens court by special guards with their faces covered in balaclava hoods.
They will each appear before the investigating magistrate separately, with sources suggesting that they will deny all charges being brought against them.
Michaloliakos is due to face the magistrate on Wednesday, while Christos Pappas, a high-ranking cadre in Golden Dawn who is believed to serve as the leader’s second-in-command, has been given until Thursday to prepare his deposition.
Meanwhile, the central committee of Golden Dawn on Tuesday filed a petition with Parliamentary Speaker Evangelos Meimarakis demanding that Michaloliakos and Pappas be allowed to address the House later in the day.