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Immunity stripped from 5 additional Golden Dawn lawmakers

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ATHENS, Greece (JTA) — Greece’s parliament removed immunity from another five lawmakers from the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party.

The move brings to 13 the number of Golden Dawn lawmakers facing prosecution as part of Greece’s widespread crackdown on a party that authorities describe as a criminal organization.

Prosecutors have described  Golden Dawn as a structured organization that operates along military lines, inspired by the ideals of national socialism.

The party had 18 lawmakers in the 300-member parliament, but recently dropped to 16 after one member quit, saying he was unaware of the organization’s illegal activities, and a second was expelled amid reports he planned to quit too.

Meanwhile, a top aide to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras resigned following the release of video that appeared to show him telling Golden Dawn lawmakers that the government was pressuring the courts to jail party members.

The video was released by Golden Dawn spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris during Wednesday’s parliamentary debate on lifting his immunity.

The crackdown on Golden Dawn followed widespread outrage and protests in Greece in the wake of the Sept. 18 killing of anti-fascist rapper Killah P by a suspected Golden Dawn member.

Golden Dawn has been accused of being behind dozens of attacks on immigrants in Greece.

The party is known for its Nazi swastika-like flag and Holocaust-denying leadership.

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