Greece jails 9th far-right lawmaker pending trial, part of crackdown on Nazi-inspired party

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.

PHOTO: FILE  - In thisTuesday, Oct. 1, 2013 file photo, lawmaker of the extreme far-right Golden Dawn party Ilias Kasidiaris, center, is escorted by anti-terror police to a court for a preliminary hearing into charges of participating in a criminal organization in Athens. Greek judges have jailed Ilias Kassidiaris the ninth lawmaker in connection with a criminal investigation into Nazi-inspired Golden Dawn — the country's third most popular party on Thursday, July 10, 2014. Ilias Kassidiaris, a prominent Golden Dawn lawmaker, faces illegal firearms charges that, if proved in court, carry a maximum 20-year prison sentence. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis, File)

FILE – In thisTuesday, Oct. 1, 2013 file photo, lawmaker of the extreme far-right Golden Dawn party Ilias Kasidiaris, center, is escorted by anti-terror police to a court for a preliminary hearing into charges of participating in a criminal organization in Athens. Greek judges have jailed Ilias Kassidiaris the ninth lawmaker in connection with a criminal investigation into Nazi-inspired Golden Dawn — the country’s third most popular party on Thursday, July 10, 2014. Ilias Kassidiaris, a prominent Golden Dawn lawmaker, faces illegal firearms charges that, if proved in court, carry a maximum 20-year prison sentence. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis, File)

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.

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