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Cyprus

No requests yet from Greece after Golden Dawn arrests

Lawmaker of extreme-right Golden Dawn party Mihos is escorted by police officer as he arrives at Greek police headquarters in Athens

By George Psyllides

GREEK authorities have not yet requested any cooperation in connection with the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn and its sister party in Cyprus, Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou said yesterday.

Greek police arrested the leader and more than a dozen senior members and lawmakers from the far-right Golden Dawn party on Saturday after the killing of an anti-fascist rapper by a party supporter triggered outrage and protests across the country.

The party’s leader Nikolaos Mihaloliakos, spokesman Ilias Kassidiaris, two other lawmakers and dozen members were arrested on charges of founding a criminal organisation.

“As far as I know, nothing (request) gas arrived at the ministry so far,” Nicolaou said. “If they ask for anything the response will be immediate.”

Asked whether Cypriot police were carrying out any investigation linked to the Golden Dawn case, Nicolaou said: “We cannot investigate something, which happened in another county, and treat it as a criminal offence in Cyprus.”

Police at the moment were looking into photographic material handed over by AKEL allegedly showing that summer camps had been turned into armed military exercises by far-right party ELAM, Golden Dawn’s sister party in Cyprus, he said.

The minister said photos alone were not enough and police were now seeking the necessary evidence to back the claims.

ELAM is considered to be Golden Dawn’s branch in Cyprus. The party’s leader said recently “we are Cyprus’ Golden Dawn.”

The difference in name is attributed to the Cypriot interior ministry’s refusal to register them under the name Golden Dawn.

Following revelations in Greece concerning the Golden Dawn’s recruitment methods, Education Minister Kyriacos Kenevezos said yesterday the government had no information that similar phenomena were occurring in Cyprus.

“We have no such information. And of course we will investigate it immediately if it falls into our hands,” the minister said.

Kenevezos expressed hope that such phenomena have not yet appeared in Cypriot schools.

However, observers suggested that the minister should only have a look at the supporters of certain football teams to see how recruitment was carried out.

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