A leading figure in the Greek far-right party, Golden Dawn, has been granted temporary prison leave to be sworn in as an Athens councillor.
Ilias Kasidiares remains in pre-trial detention, accused of illegal gun possession. His party is the third most popular in Greece, rising to power on a wave of anti-government anger fueled by EU imposed austerity cuts.
His release was met with jubilation by supporters, but the Greek government is not one of those, with a number of Golden Dawns’ key lawmakers facing trial.
They stand accused of attacking immigrants and left wing opponents. Other detractors lined nearby streets in Athens, opposing what many decry as a neo-Nazi criminal gang.
Speaking from Athens, euronews correspondent Stamatis Giannisis gave some insight into the upcoming court cases.
“The trial of the Golden Dawn MP’s and city councillors accused of criminal activities is anticipated to start either by the end of this year or the beginning of next. But until the court delivers its verdict, those who are already behind bars will be banned from participating in parliamentary or local government proceedings,” he said.