Golden Dawn trial adjourned amid appeals

The trial of Golden Dawn’s leadership and dozens of members of the neofascist party resumed Tuesday at Korydallos Prison, western Athens, but was adjourned for the third time, to resume again on Friday, amid an ongoing row over the venue.

Party leader Nikos Michaloliakos and most of the party’s MPs were again absent from court but some submitted appeals via their lawyers. Michaloliakos, his wife and fellow lawmaker Eleni Zaroulia and another MP, Dimitris Koukoutsis, asked for the terms of their house arrest to be lifted. Antonios Gregos asked to be allowed to travel abroad and Michail Arvanitis to be permitted to join party functions.

The court also broached the issue of where the trial will continue amid protests by local residents and authorities. Reacting to a decision by Justice Minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos to move the trial to the Athens Appeals Court, the presiding judge Maria Lepeniotou said by that time the trial will be fully under way at Korydallos. Paraskevopoulos has said judges must appeal for an immediate relocation.

Meanwhile, a majority of MPs voted to lift GD spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris’s immunity from prosecution, on additional charges of inciting criminal acts. A total of 190 MPs voted in favor of lifting his immunity with 18 voting against and 22 voting present.

The charges date to a speech he gave in May 2011 in Aspropyrgos, west of Athens, encouraging locals to “get rid of the human garbage,” referring to migrants. After the vote, Kasidiaris said he would not return to pretrial custody. “I’m going to stay here,” he said, obliging a member of Parliament’s security detail to intervene.

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