Three senior lawmakers of Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn party were freed pending their trial on charges of belonging to a criminal group while a fourth lawmaker was jailed, a court official told Reuters on Wednesday.
The party’s spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris was released on bail of 50,000 euros and restrictions from leaving the country. Ilias Panagiotaros and Nikos Michos were released with travel restrictions while Yannis Lagos was sent to jail pending trial.
All four denied charges against them in a marathon plea session before an investigating magistrate that ended early on Wednesday after more than 18 hours. Kasidiaris said he was a victim of political persecution.
The surprise decision to free them complicates the government’s efforts to clamp down on the party after one of its sympathisers fatally stabbed an anti-fascism rapper last month.
The four were arrested on Saturday alongside party leader Nikolaos Mihaloliakos.