ATHENS (AFP) – Greek police raided the offices of neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn and arrested a police officer, authorities said, amid a major probe on the links between law enforcers and far-right politicians.
A 45-year-old officer, who is working as the bodyguard of a Golden Dawn lawmaker, was detained during the raid at party offices in central Greece, a police source said.
The officer had been suspended from his duties last September over suspicions that he joined a Golden Dawn politician and other neo-Nazis in smashing up the street stalls of migrant peddlers.
The links between Golden Dawn and police have come under intense scrutiny in Greece after the murder of an anti-fascist musician by an alleged member of the party.
The fatal stabbing of 34-year-old hip hop artist Pavlos Fyssas on September 18 touched off street protests and prompted authorities to take a harder stance against Golden Dawn.
Several senior officers had been suspended following the killing for failing to investigate a Golden Dawn office near a local police station where weapons were allegedly kept.
Further raids of Golden Dawn's offices are expected in coming days, the police source said.
Capitalising on a rise in social tension in the debt-stricken country, Golden Dawn was first elected to parliament last year with nearly seven percent of the vote, winning 18 seats out of an overall 300.
The neo-Nazi party has already been linked to assaults on immigrants although it officially denies such attacks, while several of its lawmakers have also been involved in violent incidents and have yet to face justice.