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Golden Dawn members arrive at Athens court

Members of the Golden Dawn party are to be charged with belonging to a criminal organisation Credit: REUTERS/John Kolesidis

Three Golden Dawn extremist right-wing party members have arrived at an Athens court for a preliminary hearing into charges of participating in a criminal organisation.

The Greek government says it will present a bill targeting racist hate speech, as part of a crackdown on the Golden Dawn party after the killing of an anti-fascist rapper last month.

Golden Dawn MPs set to appear in court

Four MPs from Greece's far-right Golden Dawn party will appear in court today as the country's government seeks to quell unrest over the murder of an anti-fascist activist.

Ilias Panagiotaros was among the Golden Dawn members arrested. Credit: REUTERS/Giorgos Moutafis

The four, who face charges of belonging to a criminal group and other counts including assault, money laundering and murder, were arrested over the weekend.

The party's leader Nikos Michaloliakos and his deputy were also arrested and will appear in court later this week.

Party spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris, Yannis Lagos, Nikos Michos and Ilias Panagiotaros will be formally charged today.

The arrests follow the fatal stabbing of Greek hip-hop artist and anti-racism campaigner, Pavlos Fyssas, who was allegedly killed by a self-confessed neo-Nazi who worked in a Golden Dawn office.


Greek government seeks to cut Golden Dawn funding

Greece's government has submitted legislation to Parliament aimed at cutting state funding to the extreme right-wing Golden Dawn party following a series of arrests of its members.

Supporters of extreme-right Golden Dawn party shout slogans outside the Greek police headquarters in Athens Credit: REUTERS/John Kolesidis

The party's leader and four other members are facing charges of belonging to a criminal organisation.

"Democracy cannot fund its rivals," said Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos in a news conference.

"Therefore when you have a criminal organisation which is operating inside a political party, there must be sanctions regarding funding," Venizelos added.

Under the legislation, state funding would be suspended for a party if any members of its leadership or lawmakers are being prosecuted for felonies.

Read: Golden Dawn politicians to enter pleas on Tuesday

Golden Dawn politicians to enter pleas on Tuesday

The leader of Greece's far-right Golden Dawn party and four more of its politicians will make their pleas against charges of belonging to a criminal organisation on Tuesday.

The arrest of party leader Nikolaos Mihaloliakos, party spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris, four others is the biggest mass detention of lawmakers since the end of Greece's military dictatorship in 1974.

Golden Dawn party leader Nikolaos Mihaloliakos is escorted by anti-terrorism police. Credit: Reuters

Thirteen party members were also arrested and will appear in court to enter their pleas on Wednesday.

Golden Dawn MPs charged with 'criminal intent'

The leader of Greece's far-right Golden Dawn party Nikos Michaloliakos, alongside party spokesman Ilias Kassidiaris and three other parliamentarians were arrested by counter-terrorism police earlier today, and have been formally charged with membership of a criminal organisation.

Nikos Michos and Ilias Panayiotaros gave themselves up voluntarily, according to the Associated Press.

A further 15 people, including 13 Golden Dawn members and two police officers, have also been arrested and are due to appear before a prosecutor and an examining magistrate soon. They face the same charges.

Police investigate Golden Dawn after protester's death

The leader of Greece's far-right Golden Dawn party Nikolaos Mihaloliakos has been arrested on charges of forming a criminal organisation.

Police are currently investigating the party for links with the killing of an anti-fascist rapper by a self-proclaimed Golden Dawn supporter.

The stabbing to death of Pavlos Fissas on 17 September sparked violent protests in the capital of Athens.

ITV News' Europe Correspondent Emma Murphy reports:


Protesters line street outside Athens police station

Greek protesters opposing the arrest of at least 14 Golden Dawns members are lining the pavement outside the police headquarters in Athens.

Supporters of Golden Dawn hold a protest in Athens Credit: ITV News/Maria Kagkelidou

A long line of cars is waiting to transport the detainees to the prosecutor's office.

Car waiting to transport Golden Dawn members to the prosecutor's office Credit: ITV News/Maria Kagkelidou

Golden Dawn leader led away by police after protests

The leader and members of Golden Dawn were arrested on charges of founding a criminal organisation. They are due to appear in court this weekend to be charged formally.

The government had begun a legal investigation into the party for links with the killing of an anti-fascist rapper by a self-proclaimed Golden Dawn supporter and other incidents on whether they could be considered criminal.

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