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Three Golden Dawn MPs released on bail, one MP in custody

Three Golden Dawn MPs were released on bail on Wednesday morning after they gave testimonies that lasted for hours. Only MP Giorgos Lagos remanded in custody. In a marathon court hearing that started on Tuesday noon and ended on Wednesday morning all four denied the charges.

Hardly did the news of their released become known and Kasidiaris walked on foot out of the Police Headquarters where he was held since last Saturday.

The three were banned from leaving the country.

Kasidiaris had to pay bail of 50,000 euro, Panagiotaros and Michos were only banned form leaving the country.

The three are expected to join the meeting of the Golden Dawn Parliamentary group scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday.

The date of the trial is not known yet.

GD leader Nikos Michaloliakos is to appear in court for his defence at 3 p.m. today.

MP Christos Pappas will answer the charges tomorrow, Thursday.

According to Greek media, the six face charges of having established and managed a “criminal organization”.

The release of the three is certainly a surprise, and some Greek internet users were quick to speak of a “farce”.

Now, many wonder how air- and watertight were the “felony” charges set by the Greek government against the Golden Dawn MPs. Of course, they are set free on bail and are banned from leaving the country, but it looks a if the charges were not as serious as they appeared to be and as leaked to the press.

22 people – Golden Dawn MPs, local branches officials and ordinary members – were arrested over the weekend after the murder of leftist rapper Pavlos Fyssas on September 17th 2013.

In the huge operation across the country, it seemed that the Greek government was determined to crack down the extreme-right formation that had managed to elect 18 MPs during the June 2012 elections.

Odd: During his testimony that lasted six hours, Ilias Kasidiaris had allegedly said he knew who was the  “protected witness”.

Greek media claimed that name, address and phone number of the ‘protected key witness’ who had testified against Golden Dawn were included in the charges copies given to defendants’ lawyers. “By mistake”…

Reactions from political world

Greece’s political world reportedly ‘freeze’ upon hearing the news that the three Golden Dawn were released on bail. Many lawmakers from government and opposition parties allegedly wonder whether “the indictment was not strong enough.”

However, the government and the main opposition party seem to agree – for a change- that the issue is not over as they will go on trial.

Simos Kedikoglou (government spokesman, Nea Dimocratia): “charges and indictment are still valid.”

Panos Skourletis (SYRIZA spokesman) : “The three members of Golden Dawn who are not detained awaiting trial,  it does not mean that they are innocent. Justice must operate according to the rules of law.”

Dimitris Papadimoulis (SYRIZA MP on Twitter): “If they were tobe released, what was the handcuffs show for?”

 

 

To be continued…

 

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