Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos expelled MP Konstantinos Barbarousis less than an hour after the Justice Ministry announced investigation on crimes of “high treason.” The General Secretary said the party was distancing itself from Barbarousis statement and that he was “off the party line.” With the expulsion the far-right party hopes to escape any persecution by the authorities.
Earlier on Friday, during a speech at the Plenary of the Palriament, Barbarousis called on the Greek Army to launch a military coup and to arrest the Prime Minister, the Defense Minister and the President of the Republic over the Macedonia agreement with FYROM.
The GD MPs applauded Barbarousis.
Immediate was the reaction of Defense Minister, Panos Kammenos, who called on Justice to intervene not only against the MP but also against the other GD members of the Parliamentary group. He urged for the immediate lifting of the 16 GD MPs parliamentary immunity.
Kammenos and Alternate Defense Minister, Fotis Kouvelis, filed a lawsuit against the group at Greece’s Top Court, Areios Pagos. They submitted recorded footage with the call for a military coup as well as the GD applaud.
Quick was also the reaction of Justice Minister, Stavros Kontonis, who immediately ordered urgent investigation on the issue. Speaking to news247 FM, Kontonis said there may be an arrest warrant against Barbarousis as his statements with regards to the arrest of the political leadership “contain several criminal charges also those of felony.”
Kontonis stressed he was awaiting for the prosecutor to characterize the offenses.
Barbarousis enjoys Parliamentary immunity as he may have been expelled from the party but so far has not returned his seat to GD.
However, if felony charges are pressed and the 48-hour time limit after the crime has not passed, the immunity is not provided – I read somewhere on internet.
- Under the threat of fast track imprisonment and very serious charges, Barbarousis revoked his statement at the Parliament short after 4 o’ clock Friday afternoon, and called them “spontaneous statements that were viciously exploited politically.”
- Half an hour later, media report that he was arrested, then corrected the report saying he was not arrested.
Barbarousis’ statements were condemned by all democratic parties in the Parliament.
An outcry on Greek social media forced authorities and politicians to take urgent action and to not let the far-right party prevail with its provocative statements as several times in the past.