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Golden Dawn trial resumes on Friday with statement from prosecutor Economou

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"The prosecutor, regardless of his or her proposal, is obliged to take the ruling into account, to adopt it and make recommendations in accordance with it. I was obliged, despite my recommendation, to make this proposal," she said.

The trial of Golden Dawn, which has now been ruled a criminal organisation, resumed before the Athens Court of Appeals on Friday with a brief statement by the prosecutor on the bench, Adamantia Economou. The prosecutor asked to be given the opportunity to reply to strong criticism levelled at her by the defence lawyers for the accused, over her recommendation that the court reject all extenuating circumstances bar one for the defendants.

"In yesterday's session I came under strong attack from the lawyers of the defendants, despite the fact that my recommendation on their guilt was that they should be acquitted of running and joining a criminal organisation. There were barbs over cowardice and change of course. In order that there should now be no shadows, I stick to my proposal, which I made in accordance with my conscience and the rules of law.

"The prosecutor, regardless of his or her proposal, is obliged to take the ruling into account, to adopt it and make recommendations in accordance with it. I was obliged, despite my recommendation, to make this proposal," she said.

The court resumed by hearing the final statements of the remaining lawyers representing the 65 defendants on trial. It is expected to rule on the extenuating circumstances for the accused, after which it will announces the sentences.

In a unanimous ruling on Wednesday, the Athens Court of Appeal delivered a guilty verdict for the seven members of Golden Dawn's leadership, finding that they had formed and run a criminal organisation "wearing the cloak of a political party" despite the prosecutor's contrary recommendation. Roughly 50 of the 65 individuals on trial were found guilty of either participating or running in a criminal organsiation.

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