Greek Parliament votes to lift Golden Dawn MP’s immunity

Greek Parliament lifts Golden Dawn lawmaker Kasidiari’s immunity for criminal charges

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The Greek parliament lifted immunity of far-right Golden Dawn parliament member Ilias Kasidiaris on Tuesday so he could stand trial for being a member of a criminal organisation.

Kasidiaris is one the defendants of the current Golden Dawn trial after he referred to migrants in Greece’s Attica region as “human garbage” in a speech given in May 2011.

In the speech, he said if the locals wanted to “de-stink” the area, they have to take responsibility and do it themselves.

"Get rid of the human garbage that has robbed, murdered and committed crimes. There is no state, no police, no justice, no one to cover you, so get out into the streets," he said.

On Monday, Greek Justice Minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos said that the Golden Dawn trial, which should start on Tuesday in the Korydallos Prison courtroom, will move to the Court of Appeals.

Paraskevopoulos said that a new venue will be built only for this case and it will be ready in September 2015 after a fight between Pakistani and Albanian prisoners last week left two dead and dozens injured.

“I recognise the urgency of the problems created both within the hall of Korydallos prisons where the Golden Dawn members’ trial is conducted and in the surrounding areas. For this reason, the construction of a new hall has already started,” he said.

Golden Dawn is suspected of involvement in numerous attacks in recent years, mostly against immigrants, as well as the murder of the left-wing activist rapper Pavlos Fyssas which led to a crackdown on the party.

A huge police investigation into the party began with the round-up of many of its leaders and MPs, more than half of whom have since been charged.

Prosecutor Isidoros Doyiakos, who headed the investigation into Golden Dawn's activities, said the organisation aimed "to propagate and impose its political beliefs and theories through violence."

Golden Dawn, however, says it has no involvement in any violent activities and rejects the charges. It argues that its senior members are victims of political conspiracy aimed at stemming their surge in popularity during Greece's major financial crisis.

Despite the investigations and arrests of its leaders, support for Golden Dawn remained considerable in the latest elections on January 25, when it came third with 17 out of 300 seats, winning 6.3 percent of the vote.

Altogether 16 Golden Dawn lawmakers, including 13 who were re-elected in the latest elections are among 68 individuals standing trial alongside former army commando and party leader Nikos Michaloliakos. The defendants also include party supporters and police officers.  

TRTWorld and agencies