Golden Dawn on trial amid conflict over court venue

The trial of 69 Golden Dawn members, including party leader Nikos Michaloliakos and numerous MPs, is due to begin on Monday at a special courtroom in Korydallos Prison.

Golden Dawn’s leadership has been charged with forming a criminal organization that carried out a series of violent attacks on Greeks and migrants, including the murders or local rapper Pavlos Fyssas and Luqman Shahzad from Pakistan in 2013.

All of the 18 MPs elected with the neo-Nazi party in 2012 when it first entered Parliament, including two who have since defected, are to stand trial following a lengthy investigation by prosecutor Isidoros Dogiakos. Michaloliakos, who was recently released from pre-trial custody, is accused of playing a central role in the party’s illegal activities.

The trial, however, begins amid complaints from the local community in Korydallos, southwestern Athens, which is concerned about the disruption that it will cause, particularly because of the great media interest.

The Justice Ministry has not been able to find a suitable alternative to the courtroom at Korydallos Prison, which is where members of the November 17 terrorist group were also tried. A protest has been planned to take place outside Korydallos Town Hall Monday morning to put further pressure on the government to move the trial to a different location.

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