by Niki Kitsantonis
New York Times
April 20, 2015
In Greece’s most high-profile political trial in decades, members of the neo-fascist party Golden Dawn appeared in a Greek court on Monday on charges including membership in a criminal organization and murder.
The trial will determine the fate of Golden Dawn, the third-largest party in Greece’s Parliament. The overtly racist group was catapulted from obscurity into the front lines of Greek politics at the peak of the country’s debt crisis in 2012, railing against austerity and a growing influx of immigrants.
Facing trial are the party’s leader, Nikos Michaloliakos, a 57-year-old dishonored former Greek Army commando, and 68 other people, including the party’s remaining 16 lawmakers as well as supporters and police officers. Most are charged with membership in a criminal organization, with others accused of murder, racist violence and weapons possession. They face long prison terms if convicted. Golden Dawn rejects the charges, saying they are politically motivated.