ATHENS – For the fifth time in recent months the trial of Golden Dawn leaders charged with running a criminal gang was postponed because they won’t show up.
Greek prosecutors have been building a case for two years and said they have amassed 10,000 pages of evidence along with videos they said prove the ultra-extreme right party uses Nazi methodology and brutal tactics to go after immigrants, critics and other targets it deems enemies.
All the party’s 18 Members of Parliament were arrested and a number remain in detention, although leader Nikos Michaloliakos is under house arrest.
The trial has been plagued by delays as well because residents in the neighborhood around the high-security Korydallos Prison don’t want disruptions from protests between Golden Dawn supporters and anti-Fascist forces.
A prosecutor proposed that only defendants who are directly implicated in criminal activities attributed to the party should be liable to claims for compensation from victims, freeing party leaders from being liable.
In the case of the September 2013 murder of rapper Pavlos Fyssas, for instance, prosecutor Adamantia Economou said his relatives seek compensation only from those charged with the killing, self-confessed killer Giorgos Roupakias and his accomplices, and not from party officials alleged to have been briefed about the attack.
Presiding judge Maria Lepenioti said she would seek to lift restrictions on GD defendants who are under house arrest “so that at least this reason for their non-attendance is not applicable.”
There was no explanation why those who show up aren’t arrested and brought to court.