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Greece: Extreme right leader released from jail

March 20, 2015

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The leader of Greece’s Nazi-inspired Golden Dawn party walked free from a prison in Athens Friday after he served the 18-month maximum in pre-trial detention allowed under Greek law.

The 57-year-old Nikos Michaloliakos is charged with participation in a criminal organization after a judicial inquiry investigated links between the party and violent attacks against immigrants and left-wing activists. The trial starts on April 20.

Despite the probe, Golden Dawn came third in the Jan. 25 general elections with 6.3 percent of the vote, amid popular anger against politicians following a six-year recession.

Before going on trial, Michaloliakos will be banned from leaving the country and remain under house arrest but will be allowed to attend parliament sessions.

A judicial panel also ordered the release of Golden Dawn parliament member Yiannis Lagos, who was arrested on similar charges and walked free Friday.

Golden Dawn is planning an Athens rally against illegal immigration on Saturday.

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