Extreme-right Golden Dawn party leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos (C) is escorted by anti-terrorism police officers into a court house in Athens
Extreme-right Golden Dawn party leader Nikos Michaloliakos is escorted by anti-terrorism police officers into a court house in Athens (Reuters)

The leader of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party has been jailed pending trial on charges of running a criminal organisation in a case triggered by the murder of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas, nicknamed Killah P.

Lawmaker Nikos Michaloliakos was ordered to remain in custody after a long testimony that lasted for more than six hours. He was led away by armed police in handcuffs while his wife and daughter shouted words of encouragement to him.

"The ridiculous little men, they decided to jail the leader," said party member Michalis Arvanitis.

He was charged with setting up a political group with Nazi beliefs and encouraging violence against minorities.

Michaloliakos has already been jailed on two occasions in the late 1970s for assaulting journalists and participating in bomb attacks in Athens.

Investigators have linked Golden Dawn to two homicides, three attempted murder, robberies and an arson attack on a bank.

The evidences come from earlier police investigations, wiretaps and testimony of former members.

The neo-Nazi group also held illegal training in the use of assault weaponry for elite members, according to reports.

The development came after a court unexpectedly freed three senior MPs belonging to the neo-Nazi party who were facing charges of murder for the rapper's death. Following an 18-hour court session, Ilias Panagiotaros, Ilias Kasidiaris and Nikos Michos walked out of court to the cheers and applause of supporters.

Killah P was stabbed to death outside a café in the Keratsini area west of Athens.

Police arrested a 45-year-old supporter of Golden Dawn, George Roupakias, over the killing and raided party headquarters in the Greek capital. Another 21 people linked to the extremist movement were held by authorities and arrest warrants issued for 10 more.

Prosecutors alleged that the attack against Fyssas was premeditated and the party leadership knew about the murder, as Golden Dawn operates according to a strict hierarchical command structure.


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