Golden Dawn MPs may face charges of high treason

Prosecutors say they have found evidence that party sought to overthrow state

Golden Dawn's aim 'from the beginning and remains the overthrow of the democratic system,' note two investigating magistrates in a report submitted to parliament

Golden Dawn MPs attend the opening of the new season at parliament on October 7 (AFP) Golden Dawn MPs attend the opening of the new season at parliament on October 7 (AFP) Investigating magistrates are seeking to charge up to nine Golden Dawn MPs with high treason, the penalty for which is life imprisonment, according to a nine-page report submitted to parliament on Tuesday that calls for the lifting of the parliamentary immunity of a further three MPs from the neonazi party.

The report, dated October 7 (pdf), says Stathis Boukouras (an MP for Corinthia), Yiorgos Germenis (Greater Athens) and Panayiotis Iliopoulos (Magnisia) should stand trial on a number of criminal charges.

"The purpose of the organisation was from the beginning and remains the overthrow of the democratic system (contrary to article 134 of the criminal code)," investigating magistrates Spyros Georgouleas and Christos Papakostas noted in the report.

Article 134 paragraph 2 of the criminal code foresees a punishment of life imprisonment for "anyone who attempts by force or threat of force or usurpation" to overthrow the democratic system.

Their document is based on testimony provided three by former members of Golden Dawn, among others, which the judges say "includes plenty of evidence for the activities and the role of the six [Golden Dawn] MPs who have already been indicted".

Those MPs are: party leader Nikos Michaloliakos, deputy leader Christos Pappas, party spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris, Yiannis Lagos, Ilias Panagiotaros and Nikos Michos.

Michaloliakos, Pappas and Lagos were remanded in custody last week.

Furthermore, the judges in their report say that they have indications that Panagiotaros, who runs a shop selling Golden Dawn clothing, uniforms and baseball bats, has committed tax-related offences, including money laundering, in his business activities, which the report adds, are indistinguishable from those of the party.

The evidence gathered so far, the judges say, point to Germenis, a former black metal band performer, being involved in selecting new recruits, while Iliopoulos was responsible for their ideological indoctrination. Boukouras is alleged to have collected and stored weapons used in training camps and attacks.

According to the report, Golden Dawn first appeared in the early 1980s in the form of a small, closed group of Nazi sympathizers and later it turned into a political formation. Its operational and political sections were separated, with the first carrying out actions, such as, violent attacks against those regarded as the organisation’s enemies.

It says the organisation's charter which clearly separates the two sections that fall under a common leadership group, noting that the Michaloliakos controlled both.

According to the neonazi party's ideology, those who do not belong to the "Aryan race" are subhumans, a category that includes migrants, Roma, homosexuals, the mentally sick and those who disagree with the party's ideas in general.

"Violence for Golden Dawn is the message and not the means to achieve its objectives," the report states.

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Investigating magistrates' report to parliament on Golden Dawn, 7 October 2013 - 466 KB