A Greek court has ordered the head of the ultranationalist Golden Dawn party held in jail until his trial following six hours of testimony that ran through the night.
Nikolaos Michaloliakos was arrested last week with several other lawmakers and senior Golden Dawn members on charges of forming a criminal organization, part of an unprecedented crackdown on the neo-Nazi party. Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou hailed the decision on Michaloliakos an important victory for the Greek legal system, calling it “the most dynamic confrontation of a neo-Nazi criminal gang in European, and possibly world, history.”
Golden Dawn has 18 seats in the 300-member parliament and is known for its Nazi swastika-like flag and Holocaust-denying leadership. Its leaders have denied the charges against them, saying the arrests were part of a political witch hunt against the party.
The crackdown on Golden Dawn, which included the arrest of more than 10 other party leaders, follows widespread outrage and protests in Greece in the wake of the Sept. 18 killing of anti-fascist rapper Killah P by a suspected Golden Dawn member.