ATHENS — Lawyers representing Greece’s extreme right-wing Golden Dawn party are demanding a change of venue for security reasons in the trial of party leaders and members, after their clients were threatened by suspected members of a leftist group being led to another courtroom for a separate trial.
Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos and party lawmakers are among 69 defendants accused of running a criminal organization in the closely watched case held in a special courtroom in the country’s largest prison, Korydallos.
A separate case against suspected members of the left-wing Nucleii of Fire group, which is accused of several bombings, is also being heard there.
Nucleii suspects heading to their own courtroom May 15 managed to open the Golden Dawn courtroom door and threaten the defendants, throwing a bottle before police intervened.
According to reporters covering the trial, the protesters burst into the specially-designed courtroom designated for the Golden Dawn trial and hurled bottles at journalists, shouting “fascists” and “the gallows are coming.”
Police jumped in and pushed the protesters back before it got any rowdier but the interruption startled judges, lawyers and defendants.
A group of around 50 anti-fascist protesters held a demonstration outside Korydallos Prison at around the same time but there were no reports of any unrest.
Local authorities and residents asked again for the trial to be relocated to the Athens Appeals Court. Justice Minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos said that can’t happen until September.
Local authorities want the trial moved now due to security concerns and as local schools are to host university entrance examinations from next week.
(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)