Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos denies charges

Sourc: Ekathimerini

Michaloliakos says allegations against party politically motivated, decision on custody postponed

Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos has told a magistrate that he is the victim of political prosecution, adding that he condemns all forms of violence.

During a marathon session at the Evelpidon court complex in Athens that went on until early Thursday, Michaloliakos denied charges that his Golden Dawn party, which has 18 lawmakers in the 300-strong House, is a criminal organization.

“I feel sorry for the murder of [Pavlos] Fyssas,” he said of the 34-year-old rapper that was stabbed to death by a Golden Dawn member last month. “I condemn [the murder], like I condemn violence in general. I am not a Nazi,” said the 56-year-old mathematician.

Michaloliakos said he had no knowledge if individual members of Golden Dawn had broken the law. The activity of the party, he said, has been within the contours of parliamentary politics.

A decision on whether to remand Michaloliakos in custody was postponed. Sources said it would be announced after a testimony by Giorgos Patelis, the head of the local chapter of Golden Dawn in Nikaia, southwest of Athens, close to the run-down district of Keratsini where Fyssas was stabbed. Patelis’s testimony was still ongoing at 3.20 a.m. Thursday.

Three senior Golden Dawn lawmakers were freed on Wednesday pending trial – a surprise decision that raised questions about the solidity of the state’s case against the ultranationalist party.

Party spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris and fellow lawmakers Ilias Panagiotaros and Nikos Michos stormed out of the court to cheers of “bravo” from supporters. They kicked and shoved journalists out of the way before hailing a taxi.

A fourth MP, Yiannis Lagos, was remanded in custody after a prosecutor and magistrate agreed that he was both a flight risk and likely to reoffend. It remained unclear why judicial officials believed that the same did not apply to Michos or to Kasidiaris, who faces a separate trial for assaulting two female MPs on live television last year.

Golden Dawn’s second-in-command according to prosecutors, Christos Pappas, is scheduled to appear before a magistrate at 10 a.m. on Thursday.

Meanwhile, late on Wednesday police announced the arrest of Golden Dawn candidate Themis Skordeli. Reports said police found 145,000 euros in her apartment.

Michaloliakos: Golden Dawn leader in sights of Greek justice

Source: Ekathimerini

Nikos Michaloliakos, the leader of Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn, is a disciple of a former Greek military dictator, who led his fringe group all the way to parliament.

Just over a year after it took Greek politics by storm to elect 18 MPs for the first time in its history, Golden Dawn has been labelled a “criminal organisation” by judicial authorities.

Michaloliakos, a 56-year-old mathematician, will appear in court Wednesday to be charged with belonging to a criminal organisation.

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

While in prison, he befriended ex-dictator George Papadopoulos and was handpicked to lead the youths of far-right group EPEN after the fall of the Greek junta in 1974.

He then founded Golden Dawn, which he has run with an iron fist for the past three decades, making him one of the longest-serving party leaders in Greece.

The party follows a strict military-style regimen. Its members conduct parades dressed in black shirts and camouflage trousers, and are required to stand to attention before higher-ranking members.

Magistrates have linked the group to two homicides, three attempted homicides, robberies and an arson attack on a bank.

The evidence was drawn from prior police investigations, police wiretaps and the testimony of former members who have described how the group orchestrated attacks on migrants and Greek rivals.

According to the magistrates’ report, which was leaked to the media, Golden Dawn also held clandestine training in the use of assault weaponry for elite members.

Michaloliakos’ first elected post was as an Athens municipal councillor in 2010, where he attended sessions with bodyguards and was filmed taunting a left-wing opponent with fascist salutes.

At the time of its inception and for years thereafter, Golden Dawn glorified Adolf Hitler and the warrior ethos of Nazi Germany in its party publications.

One of the party’s older texts, read in parliament by a leftist MP in May, called Hitler a “visionary of new Europe”.

“Faith in the words of the Fuehrer, and faith in victory, grows in our hearts. The fight goes on, the future is ours,” the Golden Dawn text read.

This rhetoric was later toned down as the party adjusted its message to better suit Greek voter concerns with austerity and illegal immigration.

Even so, in a May 2012 interview Michaloliakos effectively denied the Holocaust, telling Greece’s Mega channel: “There were no crematoria, it’s a lie. Or gas chambers.”

Formerly on the fringe of Greek politics, Golden Dawn went from 19,000 votes a few years ago to over 426,000 in June 2012 after pledging to “scour the country” clean of illegal immigrants.

Michaloliakos later said the party’s voters were “the equivalent of 30-40 army divisions.”

The party has further boosted its ratings over the past year by organising food handouts for impoverished Greeks, and until recently polled more than 10 percent of the vote, making it the third most popular party in the country.

Now denying any neo-Nazi affiliation, Golden Dawn has mercilessly attacked mainstream parties as “traitors” and “thieves”, tapping into widespread anger towards the conservative and socialist governments that brought Greece to the brink of bankruptcy in 2010.

Ολοκληρώθηκε η απολογία Μιχαλολιάκου

Έξι ώρες διήρκεσε η απολογία του γενικού γραμματέα της Χρυσής Αυγής, Νίκου Μιχαλολιάκου. Ο κ. Μιχαλολιάκος οδηγήθηκε στην Ευελπίδων λίγο μετά τις 19:30, ενώ η απολογία του ολοκληρώθηκε λίγα λεπτά πριν το ρολόι δείξει 2 τα ξημερώματα. Μαζί με τον κ. Μιχαλολιάκο μεταφέρθηκαν στην Ευελπίδων άλλοι πέντε από τους συλληφθέντες, ανάμεσά τους και ο «πυρηνάρχης» της Χρυσής Αυγής στη Νίκαια, Γιώργος Πατέλης, ο οποίος απολογείται αυτή την ώρα και όπως όλα δείχνουν, η απόφαση θα εξαρτηθεί από τον ίδιο.

Η απόφαση ανακριτών και εισαγγελέων θα ανακοινωθεί μετά την απολογία του Γ. Πατέλη προκειμένου να διασταυρωθούν κάποια στοιχεία που αφορούν στους κατόχους των κινητών τηλεφώνων για την νύχτα της δολοφονίας του Π. Φύσσα.

Σύμφωνα με πληροφορίες του Lay-out, ο κ. Μιχαλολιάκος φέρεται να υποστήριξε ότι η δίωξή του είναι καθαρά πολιτική και ότι λυπάται για τη δολοφονία του Παύλου Φύσσα. Ακόμα, υποστήριξε πως δεν είναι ναζιστής, ενώ καταδίκασε τη βία.

Έξω από τα δικαστήρια βρίσκονταν περίπου 200 οπαδοί της Χρυσής Αυγής, φωνάζοντας το:«Αίμα, τιμή, Χρυσή Αυγή».

Ancient City Discovered Beneath Mound in Northern Iraq

The ancient city of Idu, which dates back more than 3,000 years, is one of the largest archeological discoveries in Iraq’s Kurdish region

Archeologists from Germany’s University of Leipzig have discovered an ancient city called Idu hidden beneath a mound in northern Iraq.

According to the archeological findings, Idu was under the control of the Assyrian Empire about 3,300 years ago, then later gained its independence as the empire declined. The Assyrians reconquered the city roughly 140 years later. Researchers have found artwork, including a bearded sphinx with a human head and the body of a winged lion, and a cylinder seal dating back roughly 2,600 years depicting a man crouching before a griffon, according to NBC News.

Researchers discovered the name of the city during a survey of the area in 2008. A resident from a nearby village brought them an inscription with the name carved in it, and they spent 2010 and 2011 excavating the area. Archeologists plan to continue excavating the site once they reach a settlement between villagers and the Kurdistan regional government.

Iraq is home to several archeological treasures, including Babylon, an ancient Mesopotamian city-state dating to the 3rd millennium BC, which was discovered south of Baghdad by British scholars in the 19th century. During the U.S.-led invasion of 2003, American forces built landing areas for helicopters and parking lots for vehicles, causing irreparable damage to part of the site.

[NBC News]

Οι ακραίοι της Χρυσής Αυγής είναι υπόλογοι και υπόδικοι”

Πέντε ώρες διήρκησε η απολογία Μιχαλολιάκου Απολογείται ο Γ. Πατέλης Πιθανόν μετά να ζητηθούν διευκρινήσεις από τον γ.γ. της Χρυσής Αυγής.

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«Οι ακραίοι της Χρυσής Αυγής είναι υπόλογοι και υπόδικοι, κάποιοι είναι ήδη προφυλακισμένοι, κάτι τέτοιο δεν είχε γίνει ποτέ ως τώρα» δήλωσε ο πρωθυπουργός Αντώνης Σαμαράς από την Ουάσινγκτον όπου είχε σήμερα συνάντηση με τον αντιπρόεδρο των ΗΠΑ Τζο Μπάιντεν.

Συνεχίζοντας ανέφερε: «Η εικόνα της χώρας δεν έχει καμία σχέση με εκείνη πριν από δύο εβδομάδες. Είμαστε Δημοκρατία και η Δημοκρατία λειτουργεί. Η Δικαιοσύνη κάνει τη δουλειά της. Όσοι υπονομεύουν τη Δημοκρατία αντιμετωπίζουν τις συνέπειες. Όσοι παραβιάζουν το νόμο αντιμετωπίζουν τη δικαιοσύνη. Όλα γίνονται με βάση το νόμο. Η δικαιοσύνη έχει την πρωτοβουλία. Αυτό σημαίνει δημοκρατική νομιμότητα».

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Συνεχίζεται μέχρι από αυτή την ώρα η μαραθώνια απολογία του γενικού γραμματέα της Χρυσής Αυγής, Νίκου Μιχαλολιάκου ενώπιον δύο ανακριτών, των κ.κ. Γεωργουλέα και Παπακώστα και δύο εισαγγελέων.

ο κ. Μιχαλολιάκος, στην απολογία του, η οποία ξεκίνησε στις 19:30, αναμένεται να κινηθεί στην ίδια γραμμή που κινήθηκαν και οι βουλευτές της Χρυσής Αυγής και να υποστηρίξει ότι η δίωξή του είναι πολιτική.

Επίσης, ο Ν. Μιχαλολιάκος αναμένεται να πει ότι αποκηρύσσει τη βία και ότι η μόνη δράση της Χρυσής Αυγής είναι κοινοβουλευτική.