Greece: Golden Dawn party leader Nikos Michaloliakos in custody
October 3, 2013 -- Updated 1125 GMT (1925 HKT)
- NEW: Police hold Nikos Michaloliakos after court appearance
- Michaloliakos, the Golden Dawn party leader, is accused of forming a criminal gang
- Three other Golden Dawn lawmakers are free pending trial; one remains in custody
- They were arrested in a police crackdown after the killing of an anti-fascist musician
Athens (CNN) -- The leader of Greece's extreme-right Golden Dawn party, Nikos Michaloliakos, is being held in custody after appearing in court Wednesday, the state-run Athens News Agency reported.
Michaloliakos is being held at Athens Police headquarters until it's decided which jail will house him, the agency reported.
He gave a deposition to a Greek court on Wednesday that lasted until the early hours of Thursday morning in Athens, it said. He faces charges of running a criminal organization following the slaying of an anti-fascist musician last month.
There was a heavy police presence outside the court in Athens ahead of Michaloliakos' appearance.
Three other Golden Dawn lawmakers who have already appeared in court -- Elias Kassidiaris, Elias Panagiotaros and Nikos Mihos -- were released Wednesday pending trial. A fourth, Ioannis Lagos, remains in custody.
The arrests of the lawmakers, along with those of a number of party supporters, were part of a weekend police crackdown that followed a controversial stabbing death.
Far-right Greek politicians arrested
Blaming immigrants for Greece's woes
Rise of the Greek far-right
It is the first time since the restoration of democracy in 1974, after a seven-year junta, that a party leader and members of Parliament have been arrested.
Pavlos Fyssas, a popular anti-fascist figure and well-known hip-hop artist with the stage name Killah P, was the victim of a knife attack that was allegedly committed by a Golden Dawn supporter.
Kassidiaris denied his party's involvement in Fyssas' death, calling it a "heinous crime."
The singer's death has nevertheless led to renewed calls to ban Golden Dawn, which holds 18 of Parliament's 300 seats.
The Greek constitution does not allow for political parties to be banned, however, and the arrested lawmakers will retain their parliamentary seats unless they are convicted of a crime.
In 2012, Golden Dawn rode a wave of dissatisfaction among some Greeks -- spurred by internationally imposed austerity measures amid the country's deep financial crisis -- to win 7% of the vote and gain seats in Parliament for the first time.
The ultranationalist, anti-immigration party has been linked by critics to street violence and neo-Nazism.
CNN's Christine Theodorou contributed to this report.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2245 GMT (0645 HKT)
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0012 GMT (0812 HKT)
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1026 GMT (1826 HKT)
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1054 GMT (1854 HKT)
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 1416 GMT (2216 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.