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Leaders of Greece’s extreme-right Golden Dawn party given lengthy prison terms

The leaders will be taken into custody once final probation arguments are considered.

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Presiding judge Maria Lepenioti reads the sentences (Petros Giannakouris/AP)

Presiding judge Maria Lepenioti reads the sentences (Petros Giannakouris/AP)

Presiding judge Maria Lepenioti reads the sentences (Petros Giannakouris/AP)

A Greek court sentenced the leadership of the extreme-right Golden Dawn party to 13 years in prison on Wednesday, imposing the near-maximum penalty for running a criminal organisation blamed for numerous violent hate crimes.

Presiding judge Maria Lepenioti read out the sentences against party leader Nikos Michaloliakos and seven other former politicians.

The landmark ruling follows a five-year trial of dozens of top officials, members and supporters of Golden Dawn, an organisation founded as a neo-Nazi group in the 1980s that rose to become Greece’s third-largest political during a major financial crisis in the previous decade.

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A view of the court during the sentencing (Petros Giannakouris/AP)

A view of the court during the sentencing (Petros Giannakouris/AP)

AP/PA Images

A view of the court during the sentencing (Petros Giannakouris/AP)

Eleven other former parliament members were jailed for between five and seven years for membership of a criminal organisation, while a party associate was given a life sentence for the murder of Greek rap singer Pavlos Fyssas in a 2013 attack that triggered the crackdown against the party.

Arrests will be carried out after the court hears final arguments for probation considerations.

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