Golden Dawn trial staggers along

The trial of Golden Dawn MPs and members resumed briefly on Monday, and was adjourned again until June 22, in the absence of virtually all politicians implicated in the party’s alleged criminal activities.

A prosecutor proposed that only defendants who are directly implicated in criminal activities attributed to the party should be liable to claims for compensation from victims. This would mean that GD’s leadership and MPs would not face such claims. Regarding the case of the September 2013 murder of rapper Pavlos Fyssas, for instance, prosecutor Adamantia Economou proposed that his relatives seek compensation only from those charged with the actual murder, self-confessed killer Giorgos Roupakias and his accomplices, and not from GD politicians who are alleged to have been briefed about the attack.

All Golden Dawn MPs, including the leader of the neofascist party, Nikos Michaloliakos, have been charged with membership of a criminal organization. But dozens of GD members and supporters face charges in connection to assaults, chiefly on leftists and immigrants. In some of these cases, politicians have been implicated.

But since the trial started on April 20, GD MPs have been conspicuous by their absence. On Monday, presiding judge Maria Lepenioti said she would seek to lift restrictions on GD defendants who are under house arrest “so that at least this reason for their non-attendance is not applicable.”

The trial, which is being held at Attica’s Korydallos Prison, has also been dogged by the objections of local authorities and residents.