Michaloliakos takes the stand in Golden Dawn trial


More than four years since the launch of the criminal trial against Greece’s neofascist Golden Dawn, party leader and founder Nikos Michaloliakos took the stand for the first time on Wednesday.

In his testimony, Michaloliakos denied charges of running a criminal organization that targeted migrants and leftists, denouncing the accusations as fake and politically-motivated.

Speaking about the fatal stabbing of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas by a self-declared member of Golden Dawn in September 2013, Michaloliakos countered that this was the first time that a party leader is being tried for actions committed by a supporter of the same party, adding that he had condemned the killing in Parliament. The 61-year-old Holocaust denier also described Golden Dawn as “nationalist, not Nazi.”

Michaloliakos is facing up to 20 years in prison for his part in the killing. There are more than 70 defendants in the trial which is expected to conclude by the end of the year.