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Greece Seeks Trial for Right Wing Group Members

  • VOA News

FILE - Extreme-right Golden Dawn party senior lawmaker Christos Pappas is escorted by anti-terrorism police officers to a courthouse in Athens, Oct. 3, 2013.

FILE - Extreme-right Golden Dawn party senior lawmaker Christos Pappas is escorted by anti-terrorism police officers to a courthouse in Athens, Oct. 3, 2013.

A Greek prosecutor has recommended dozens of members of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn movement, including 18 lawmakers, stand trial on a range of charges.

Isidoros Doyiakos delineated the criminal activities of the group, including the murder of left-wing rapper Pavlos Fyssas, in a 700-page report released Thursday following a year-long investigation. The investigation was launched after the murder of Fyssas.

Doyiakos described the openly xenophobic Golden Dawn in the report as a hierarchical organization that aimed "to propagate and impose its political beliefs and theories through violence."

Doyiakos wrote that the group organized assault squads "armed with bats, iron bars, brass knuckles, and knives" to carry out frequent attacks against immigrants and left-wing activists.

Founded in the 1980s, Golden Dawn was on the fringe of Greek politics for years. However, in 2012 the party exploited widespread anger over immigration and austerity reforms prompted by Greece's financial crisis to wins 18 seats in parliament.

Doyiakos recommended that Golden Dawn leader Nikos Nichaloliakos, who was arrested following Fyssas' murder and remains in custody, be included among the party members facing criminal charges.

A panel of judges is expected to issue final indictments within two months.

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