Greece to lift immunity on Golden Dawn MPs

ATHENS (AFP) - The Greek parliament was voting on lifting the legal immunity of several MPs from the Golden Dawn party, in a continuing crackdown on the neo-Nazi organisation.

The vote on Wednesday comes amid investigations following a major probe into the murder of an anti-fascist musician last month.

The Golden Dawn lawmakers whose immunity from prosecution is expected to be lifted so they can face criminal charges are George Germenis, Efstathios Boukouras and Panagiotis Iliopoulos.

In addition, party spokesman Ilias Kassidiaris, Ilias Panagiotaros, Chrysovalantis Alexopoulos will be called to answer lesser charges, a process also requiring parliamentary approval.

Kassidiaris and Panagiotaros were already indicted earlier this month, and conditionally freed, on the charge of belonging to a criminal organisation.

The neo-Nazi lawmakers walked out before the vote began after dismissing the investigation into the party's activities as a "conspiracy".

Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos, his deputy Christos Pappas and lawmaker Yiannis Lagos are being held in Athens's high security Korydallos prison.

The party has 18 lawmakers overall in the 300-seat chamber.

The probe into Golden Dawn was prompted by the murder of hip hop artist Pavlos Fyssas by a self-confessed neo-Nazi supporter last month.

Witnesses have since testified that senior party members were involved in migrant beatings, extortion and possible arms smuggling.

The authorities are also moving to cut the party's access to state funding, in a vote to take place on Thursday.

Golden Dawn is believed to be in possession of unlicensed firearms which it used to train elite members, according to witness testimony.

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