Five Golden Dawn MPs granted extension to testify

The two magistrates investigating the suspected criminal activities of far-right party Golden Dawn granted five of its lawmakers extensions of several days to prepare their testimonies, the state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency reported on Tuesday.

Giorgos Germenis (photo), who is answering to charges of belonging to and running a criminal organization as well as illegal weapons possession, was given until June 17 to respond to the charges. Costas Barbaroussis will face the magistrates again on June 18, Antonis Gregos on June 19, Polyvios Zisimopoulos on June 20 and Artemis Matthaiopoulos on June 23.

All five are being held in pre-trial custody but the 18-month legal period of detention is due to expire.

Meanwhile, supporters of the neo-Nazi party have called for a rally at Syntgama Square on Wednesday morning to demand the release of all party officials being held. The protest is organized to coincide with the appearance of party leader Nikos Michaloliakos, his second-in-command Christos Pappas and prominent MP Yiannis Lagos, in Parliament on the same day ahead of a vote to lift their immunity on a series of criminal charges.

All three are in custody pending trial for membership of a criminal organization.

Wednesday’s vote relates to additional charges – of illegal gun ownership for Michaloliakos and Lagos, and of creating an illegal archive for Pappas, who was found in possession of Nazi memorabilia and documents.