Two Greek Golden Dawn party lawmakers, accused of belonging to a criminal group, have had their immunity lifted so they can face a further charge – that of illegal weapons possession.
Giorgos Germenis and Stathis Boukouras were brought from prison to the Athens parliament building to take part in the immunity vote – which went went against them.
Both men – who have now been expelled from the Golden Dawn party – were allowed to address the chamber.
“You people in government will be remembered by the entire Greek people, who will send me back here after the next general election, while they will throw you in the dustbin,” said a defiant Germenis.
Boukouras broke down in tears as he protested his innocence.
“I am not a fascist, I am not a Nazi. I am a Greek patriot and I love my country. I struggle and fight for this land,” he said.
“I want a better future for my kids and all the kids of Greece. What is my crime?”
Golden Dawn claims the action against the men is part of an attempt to wipe out its members ahead of elections.
Euronews correspondent Giannisis Stamatis said: “Over the next few days Greece’s High Court will decide whether Golden Dawn will be banned altogether from taking part in the upcoming local government and European polls.”
But he added that the extreme right party remains strong within the Greek political system.