Extreme right Golden Dawn’s upcoming trial is currently at stake due to numerous reactions expressed even from within the governing leftist SYRIZA party. The Education Ministry was the last one to add its voice to those questioning the plans to hold the neo-Nazi inspired party trial at a specially designed court room inside Greece’s largest prison, Korydallos. Among the 70 charged of running and belonging to the xenophobic criminal organization are the party’s leader Nikos Michaloliakos and MPs Ilias Kasidiaris, Christos Papas, Ioannis Lagos, Giorgos Germenis, Nikos Kouzilos, Panagiotis Iliopoulos as well as ex member Stathis Mpoukouras, Chrysovalantis Alexopoulos and one underaged person that will be tried separately. The trial was scheduled to begin on April 20.
In a statement issued by the Greek Education Ministry, it is suggested that the commotion and security measures around the prison could prove disruptive to surrounding schools, especially during the summer exam period, as the prison is located in an urban area. Local officials and residents have already declared their opposition to the trial and held demonstrations in the previous days. In a similar tone Korydallos Mayor Stavros Kasimatis told the Greek daily newspaper Kathimerini that “the Justice Minister must ensure that the trial does not happen in Korydallos Prison. It is a trial that will attract international interest, journalists will come from all over the world. There will be 69 defendants, four times as many witnesses, also lawyers. This trial cannot happen in a room inside the prison. It will not look good for the country.”
It should be noted that the prosecutor handling the criminal investigation of Golden Dawn, in a 700-page argument he highlighted the murders of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas (a.k.a. Killah P) in September 2013 and Pakistani immigrant Luqman Shahzad in January 2013, as well as several individual assaults on foreign nationals and leftist activists, including the attack against PAME members in Piraeus, just a few days before Fyssas’ murder.
All of the 16 MPs Golden Dawn had in the previous Parliament, which was dissolved for the January 25 general elections, will appear before the judge. Thirteen of the MPs were re-elected along with four new members, making Golden Dawn the third largest party currently represented in Greek Parliament. After the maximum 18-month pre-trial custody period expired, the party’s leader Nikos Michaloliakos and MP Christos Pappas were released from custody. At the moment, a total of 24 members — including the rest of the arrested MPs — are behind bars.