Nikos Michaloliakos

Nikos Michaloliakos

Dozens of defendants from the far-right Greek party Golden Dawn have gone on trial charged with being part of a criminal organisation.

This week saw the start of the sensational trial, in a maximum security prison, of 69 party activists, including leader Nikos Michaloliakos, who has denied the existence of gas chambers used to kill millions of Jews during the Holocaust.

Michaloliakos was arrested in 2013 following the fatal stabbing of anti-fascist, anti-racist rapper Pavlos Fyssas, but the party has continued to do well, and in January it became the third largest party in the Greek parliament.

It is the first time an entire political party has gone on trial, and outside there were raucous scenes, as far-right supporters faced off against anti-fascist demonstrators. One man was hospitalised in the ensuing fracas.

The trial, which was soon suspended after it emerged that one of the defendants had no legal representation, is expected to last over one year and hear from 300 witnesses.