Ilias Kassidiaris, a prominent Golden Dawn lawmaker, faces illegal firearms charges that, if proved in court, carry a maximum 20-year prison sentence. About 100 party supporters shouted slogans as police led Kassidiaris from a court complex to Athens’ maximum-security Korydallos Prison.
Greek authorities launched a judicial crackdown on Golden Dawn after the fatal stabbing last year of a leftist musician, allegedly by a party supporter.
Half the 18 lawmakers elected with Golden Dawn in 2012 have now been jailed pending trial for allegedly running a criminal organization, including leader Nikos Michaloliakos. All deny any wrongdoing and claim they are being persecuted on political grounds as the conservative-led government fears the party’s growing popularity among right-wing voters.
Police found two shotguns in Kassidiaris’ house near Athens in a search last year, and claim he illegally modified them and planned to supply them for use in criminal acts by Golden Dawn members. He already faces charges of running a criminal organization.
No trial date has been set.