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Lifting of Immunity for Six Golden Dawn MPs to Be Discussed Wednesday

The Special Permanent Committee on Parliamentary Ethics decided, yesterday, to recommend that Parliament lift immunity from prosecution for six Golden Dawn MPs facing charges of forming a criminal organisation and other offences.

According to a decision announced by the parliament president earlier, a discussion and ballot vote using a ballot box on lifting immunity for all six MPs will be held next Wednesday.

For three of the deputies in question - Georgios Germenis, Panagiotis Iliopoulos and Stathis Boukouras - prosecuting authorities have asked that their immunity be lifted so that they can be tried for criminal activities conducted within the framework of a criminal organisation and criminal action that acts as an insult to the polity through preparatory actions that tend to harm democratic institutions.

The requests to lift immunity for MP Ilias Kasidiaris relate to incidents that occurred in Iraklio, Crete, while the MP Ilias Panagiotaros is to be charged with disturbing public order and MP Chrysovalantis Alexopoulos for operating an unlisenced radio station.

Germenis and Alexopoulos both appeared before the Parliamentary Ethics Committee during Thursday's discussion, with Germenis claiming that he was being persecuted for his ideology and talked of a "witch hunt" targeting those supporting Golden Dawn. Alexopoulos presented documents to show that the amateur radio station had a legal licence.

Meanwhile, new requests asking Parliament to also lift the immunity of GD MP Eleni Zaroulia, wife of jailed party leader Nikos Michaloliakos, and a second request for Boukouras on additional charges were sent to the justice ministry from the Supreme Court prosecutor on Thursday.

The case against Zaroulia concerns the bullet found in a travel bag she was carrying when she visited her husband in a police jail after his arrest by the counter-terrorism squad.

The new charges against Boukouras are for abuse, intimidation and malicious blasphemy against Corinth Mayor Alexandros Pnevmatikos in Examilia, Corinth in 2012.