Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos, his second-in-command Christos Pappas and a third MP Yiannis Lagos were returned to Korydallos Prison on Friday after refusing to answer magistrates’ questions and instead submitting written depositions dismissing the additional charges of illegal weapons’ possession brought against them as “groundless.”
The MPs claimed that the guns found in their homes by police investigators were for “personal protection” while Pappas refuted charges that two Byzantine-era books found in his home in Ioannina, northwestern Greece, had been illegally acquired.
Magistrates decided that the evidence against Michaloliakos and Lagos warranted that they be put under house arrest, while no additional ruling was issued for Pappas, but the rulings were academic as all three MPs are in custody pending trial on charges of running a criminal organization.
Golden Dawn supporters had gathered outside the Athens Appeals Court complex on Friday morning to protest the detention of the party’s leader and MPs. Some of the protesters clashed with police who fired tear gas to disperse them and two photo journalists suffered minor injuries after being kicked and punched by unidentified protesters.
On Thursday GD’s spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris and another MP, Nikos Michos, were given extra time to prepare their defense on charges of illegal weapons possession. Michos is to answer to the charges next Wednesday and Kasidiaris on Thursday.