Golden Dawn leader Nikos Mihaloliakos jailed after murder of anti-racism rapper

Mihaloliakos was detained in the early hours of this morning after appearing before magistrates in a six hour overnight testimony

The leader of the extremist right-wing party Golden Dawn has been remanded in a Greek jail, pending trial on charges of running a criminal organisation, in an investigation triggered by the murder of an anti-racism rapper.

Nikos Mihaloliakos was detained in the early hours of this morning, after appearing before magistrates at an Athens court in an overnight testimony that lasted over six hours. Mr Mihaloliakos, who is a sitting member of Greek parliament, was among 20 people, including five of his party lawmakers, arrested over the weekend in a crackdown against the Nazi-inspired party following the fatal stabbing of rap singer Pavlos Fyssas on 18 September.

A man arrested at the scene of the attack identified himself as being a supporter of Golden Dawn. The party has vehemently denied any role in the murder.

Mr Mihaloliakos was led away from the court as his wife and daughter stood with other members of Golden Dawn outside the courtroom, chanting messages of support.

The court also ordered Giorgos Patelis, the head of Golden Dawn's local office in the area west of Athens where Fyssas was stabbed, to be remanded in custody.

A sixth party lawmaker, Christos Pappas, who the prosecution has described as Michaloliakos' second in command, is to appear in court for his preliminary hearing later today.

Party lawmaker Yiannis Lagos was also jailed on Wednesday pending trial. Golden Dawn spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris, also a lawmaker, was released on a 50,000 euro (£41,900) bail, while no bail was set for the other two lawmakers who were released, Ilias Panagiotaros and Nikos Michos. All three were banned from leaving the country.

After Kasidiaris left the courtroom, the politician deliberately knocked the camera off the shoulder of a journalist, pushed a photographer and threatened the media.

The far-right party has also been accused of attacking immigrants in a series of violent attacks, although they deny any involvement.

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