The leader of the Greek far-right Golden Dawn party has been formally charged with belonging to a criminal organisation.
Nikolaos Mihaloliakos was arrested on Saturday along with four MPs and 13 more party members. They are expected to be charged on evidence linking the Golden Dawn with a string of attacks, including the murder of rapper Pavlos Fissas earlier this month and of an immigrant last year.
Member of Parliament for the far-right party, Artemis Mathaiopoulos said that they “blame the corrupt political system that violates the constitution in order to save the votes of the collapsing political parties.” He added they “will not retreat, ideas can’t be put in prison” and they will “fight to the end.”
Golden Dawn, Greece’s third largest political party has accused the government of carrying out a witch-hunt.
Ourania Mihaloliakos, the daughter of the charged party leader said she is “very proud” of her father. She added that “any child of a politically persecuted” parent would feel the same.
Around 200 Golden Dawn supporters gathered outside the police headquarters in Athens in protest at the arrests.
The party has 18 MPs in the Greek parliament after winning nearly 7% of the vote in the 2012 general elections.