Evidence stacks up against Golden Dawn MPs

Magistrates investigating ultra-right Golden Dawn have indicated that further criminal charges will be brought against MPs implicated in activities linked to the party, including that of seeking to overthrow democracy.

In a report submitted to Parliament, seeking permission to lift the immunity of the three Golden Dawn MPs Giorgos Germenis, Panagiotis Iliopoulos and Stathis Boukouras, the two magistrates handling the investigation said witness testimonies had revealed that “the purpose of the organization was from the outset and remains to overthrow the democratic system.”

On the basis of new evidence emerging from the testimonies, the magistrates – Spyros Georgouleas and Christos Papacostas – said they would advise public prosecutors to lodge further charges though they did not provide details.

Court sources said it was unlikely any new arrest warrants would be issued in the coming days – following those issued last week for six GD lawmakers including party leader Nikos Michaloliakos – as a council of appeals court judges is to convene on October 17 to appoint a higher judge to take over the investigation.

Parliament is on Thursday to debate whether Golden Dawn MPs being probed should continue receiving state salaries and benefits. The issue of state funding is to be discussed too. Later in the day, the House’s ethics committee is to discuss the magistrates’ appeal for the immunity to be lifted for Germenis, Iliopoulos and Boukouras, but also for Ilias Panagiotaros, one of three lawmakers released pending trial last week, for a separate case dating to 2010. A vote on whether to lift the MPs’ immunity is expected next Tuesday or Wednesday.

Meanwhile a police investigation into Golden Dawn gathered pace with yet another wanted party member – a 36-year-old man – turning himself in to authorities. In a related development, a 32-year-old man who was allegedly a passenger in the car driven by Giorgos Roupakias on the night of the killing of leftist rapper Pavlos Fyssas was given until Monday to prepare his defense. Roupakias, who is charged with Fyssas’s murder but claims to have stabbed the rapper in self defense, is to face a magistrate on Thursday.