Greek Golden Dawn Chief, MPs Charged with Organized CrimeWorld | September 29, 2013, Sunday // 15:24| views
The murder of rapper Pavlos Fyssas, 34 - whose stage name was Killah P - had sparked protests in Athens and across Greece. Photo EPA/BGNES
Nikolaos Michaloliakos, leader of Greece's extreme-right party Golden Dawn, and four of his MPs, who were all arrested Saturday, have been charged with belonging to a criminal organization.
A sixth politician from Golden Dawn has been arrested after handing himself in to police in Athens.
Deputy party leader Christos Pappas had been sought alongside five other MPs who were held a day earlier, the BBC reports.
In all 22 people have been held amid anger over the murder on 18 September of anti-racist, left-wing supporter, musician and rapper Pavlos Fyssas.
Charges against some of those held as participants in a criminal group include murders, assault, bomb attacks, and money laundering.
According to Greek media reports, several police officers thought to have had links to Golden Dawn were suspended ahead of the operation to prevent them potentially tipping off the targets.
Greek police also arrested one of their own colleagues who was reportedly working as a bodyguard for the party.
The majority of legal experts, however, believe that the charges will not hold water in court, while Golden Dawn followers are convinced the entire action will increase the popularity of their party.
The murder of rapper Pavlos Fyssas, 34 - whose stage name was Killah P - had sparked protests in Athens and across Greece.
George Roupakias, 45, who said he was a supporter of Golden Dawn, was arrested. He was charged with voluntary manslaughter and illegal possession of a weapon.
Golden Dawn won nearly 7% of the vote in 2012 elections.
On Friday, Golden Dawn threatened to pull its 18 MPs out of the 300-strong Hellenic Parliament.
In such case the coalition led by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, which has 155 seats, would then face early elections.
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