Greece: Leader of Far-Right Golden Dawn to Stand Trial

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -

A judicial panel in Greece ruled Wednesday that the leader and lawmakers from the extreme right Golden Dawn party will stand trial on charges of participating in a criminal group — an offence that carries a 20-year prison sentence.

The panel voted that all 18 Golden Dawn lawmakers who held seats in Greece’s previous parliament will stand trial, along with 52 other defendants.

No trial date was set.

Golden Dawn, originally founded as a neo-Nazi party, came third in parliamentary elections last month.

Thirteen lawmakers of the 18 standing trial were re-elected in the Jan. 25 polls and were due to be sworn in Thursday when the new 300-member parliament holds its opening session. Six of those, including party leader Nikos Michaloliakos are in pre-trial detention, but are expected to participate as planned in the ceremony after being escorted to parliament and back to prison by police.

A crackdown against the party was launched in September 2013, following the murder of a singer, allegedly by a Golden Dawn volunteer.