Greek court acquits Golden Dawn MP of assaulting female politicians
On Friday, 6 March, a court in Greece acquitted an MP from the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn who physically assaulted two female left-wing politicians in 2012 during a live television broadcast. The Associated Press reports that a judge has decided that legislator Ilias Kasidiaris did not cause the women grievous bodily harm, as the charges read.
Kasidiaris faces other charges as well, including ones of belonging to a criminal organization. During an impassioned debate in June 2012, the MP first became enraged by remarks made by a representative of the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA), Rena Doru.
The angry man threw a glass of water at Doru after she said the country was undergoing a crisis of democracy because people who wanted to move Greece 500 years back had made it into Parliament after the May 2012 elections. The reference was to representatives of Golden Dawn, who surprisingly won 21 seats in the 300-member assembly during the elections almost three years ago, in which they scored almost 7 % of the vote.
After Kasidiaris threw the water, Liana Kanelli, a Communist representative and famous former journalist, sharply objected and pushed him with her hand, calling on him to leave immediately. Kasidiaris, a former special forces member, began to use his hands against the older woman, giving her several slaps despite the interventions of the moderator.
About 100 Golden Dawn backers gathered in front of the courthouse to express their support for Kasidiaris. He was facing a minimum of three months in prison if convicted.
The neo-Nazis remained the third-strongest parliamentary party in Greece after elections this January. Dozens of members of the top management of the party, including many MPs, are facing charges of criminal conspiracy and are awaiting trial in custody.
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