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Arrest warrant for Golden Dawn spokesman after attack during TV talk show

An arrest warrant has been issued for Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris after he attacked two female parliamentary candidates on a live talk show on ANT-1 TV.

Kasidiaris threw water at SYRIZA’s Rena Dourou and then repeatedly slapped Communist Party hopeful Liana Kanelli during a political debate.

The discussion turned into a brawl after Kasidiaris and Kanelli disagreed over whether there were oil reserves south of Crete and the Golden Dawn deputy objected to Dourou referring to a pending court case.

The program went off air after Kasidiaris hit Kanelli but some reports suggested that scuffles continued when the cameras were off. The incident can be seen here.

Kanelli said that Kasidiaris’s behavior was proof of why some 450,000 Greek who voted for the neo-Nazi Chrysi Avgi on May 6 should withdraw their support in the June 17 election.

"With the power of their vote on June 17, citizens must isolate every thuggish hand, which has no qualms about striking at any time," said Kanelli.

Chrysi Avgi scored a stunning electoral rise on May 6, when it garnered 6.97 percent of the vote, compared with just 0.29 percent in 2009.

Prosecutor Eleni Raikou issued instructions for Kasidiaris’s arrest soon after the incident. Despite being elected to Parliament on May 6, Kasidiaris does not benefit from parliamentary immunity as the House has been dissolved so elections can take place.

Kasidiaris is due to go on trial for a separate incident on Monday. He has been accused of being an accomplice in the mugging of a student.

Kasidiaris has been charged with driving the car that carried five men who beat and stabbed a student outside the Athens University halls of residence in 2007 before stealing the victim’s identity card.

A witness gave police the license plate of the getaway car, which matched that of Kasidiaris’s vehicle.

The spokesman for the far-right party denies taking part in the attack and claims that he was at the Metropolitan Hospital at the time, where he was representing the pharmaceutical company he worked for.

Kasidiaris also claims that the witness to the incident is a SYRIZA official. This sparked his argument with Dourou on Thursday’s TV panel.

ekathimerini.com , Thursday June 7, 2012 (11:13)  
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