Greek court rejects suspension of jail for far-right Golden Dawn leaders

by Reuters
Thursday, 22 October 2020 11:06 GMT

(Adds Golden Dawn leader statement, detail)

ATHENS, Oct 22 (Reuters) - A Greek court on Thursday rejected requests for prison terms handed to leaders of the far-right Golden Dawn movement to be suspended, paving the way for their arrest, media reported.

The leaders of Golden Dawn, once Greece's third most popular party, have been convicted of running a criminal gang linked to hate crimes during the country's financial crisis.

Six of its former lawmakers, including its founder Nikos Mihaloliakos, were sentenced to 13 years in prison this month.

A police source said arrests were imminent.

"We are waiting for the court to send us the relevant documents and arrests will follow within the day," the source said.

Most of those convicted have filed appeals.

Mihaloliakos appeared defiant in a brief statement to reporters gathered outside his home. He said he was being targetted by a "dirty junta" of politicians and media.

"I am proud, I am being taken to jail for my ideas," he said, before striding back into his apartment block. Some supporters present, and members of his family, applauded.

Another top Golden Dawn figure, Ilias Kasidiaris, the party's former spokesman turned himself into police, Greek media reported. (Reporting by Renee Maltezou; Additional reporting by Alkis Konstantinidis; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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