Greek police arrest Golden Dawn far-right party leader Nikolaos Mihaloliakos as head of 'criminal organisation'
Greek police have arrested Nikolaos Mihaloliakos, the far right leader Golden Dawn party today on charges of founding a criminal organisation, police officials announced.
Four Golden Dawn MPs, the leader of an Athens suburb and nine other party members have also been arrested on charges of forming a criminal organization, in an escalation of a government crackdown after a fatal stabbing allegedly committed by a supporter.
Party spokesman Ilias Kassidiaris was among those detained. Golden Dawn deputy, Ilias Panayiotaros, gave himself up at police headquarters, telling police they were looking for him at a wrong address. Another lawmaker, Yannis Lagos, has also been arrested.
The party is now calling on it's supporters to hold a rally in front of police headquarters.
The stabbing to death of anti-facist rapper Pavlos Fissas on 17 September sparked violent protests in the capital of Athens.
Authorities in Greece are investigating the party for links with the 34-year-old's death by a self-proclaimed Golden Dawn supporter.
"The Secretary General and one lawmaker of the Golden Dawn Party were arrested a short while ago after arrest warrants were issued," Greek police said in a text message to journalists.
The two men arrested were party's leader Nikolaos Mihaloliakos and spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris, officials said.
Golden Dawn, the country's third most popular political party according to opinion polls, has denied any links to the rapper's killing and Mihaloliakos has warned it may pull its 18 lawmakers from parliament if the crackdown does not stop.
A formerly marginal organization with neo-Nazi roots, Golden Dawn entered the Greek Parliament for the first time in May 2012, capitalizing on Greece's deep financial crisis, rising crime and anti-immigrant sentiment.
The party's members and supporters have come under frequent suspicion over violent attacks, mainly against immigrants.
A government spokesman refused to comment on the details of the operation.
Ukraine crisis: Helicopter gunships take country closer to all-out war
Undertaker dead hoax: WWE legend not 'found dead in home' as Facebook and Twitter reports
Malaysia Airlines MH370 co-pilot's phone 'was on and made contact with network tower' 30 minutes after plane turned around
Oscar Pistorius trial: Reeva Steenkamp told athlete she 'loved him' for first time in Valentine's Day card
Lunar eclipse 2014: Images of the spectacular 'blood moon'
David Cameron: 'Jesus invented the Big Society – I'm just continuing God's work'
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
- 1 Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 2 The best movies on Netflix: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
- 3 Naked yoga: the bare truth - it's already big in the US, and has now landed here
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline bribed doctors to boost sales, says whistleblower
Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: TAs, LSAs and Support Workers needed in ...
£41000 - £48000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Eye for Detail? S...
Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: There are many small development projects in ...
£50000 - £65000 Per Annum potentially flexible for the right candidate: Clearw...