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Leader of Golden Dawn Jailed on Charges of Running Criminal Organization

  • VOA News

Extreme-right Golden Dawn party leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos is escorted by anti-terrorism police officers into a court house in Athens, Oct. 2, 2013.
The leader of Greece's right-wing Golden Dawn political party has been jailed on charges of running a criminal organization.

Nikos Michaloliakos was led away in handcuffs Thursday morning after a court appearance that began the night before. Several supporters, including his wife and daughter, stood outside the courthouse shouting words of encouragement as he was taken away.

Michaloliakos and five other Golden Dawn lawmakers were arrested last week as part of an official crackdown against the party following the recent murder of an anti-fascist musician by a man who supported the neo-Nazi movement.

The other four lawmakers have been charged with belonging to a criminal organization, but three of them have been released.

The Nazi-inspired Golden Dawn party has become Greece's third-most popular political party, a rise that has been at least partly spurred by anger over the debt crisis. Recently, however, it has been losing support due to accusations of attacking immigrants and the murder of musician Pavlos Fyssas.