ATHENS — Greek authorities have released from police custody a former member of the ultra-extreme right Golden Dawn party until his trial on treason charges after he called for the military to arrest the country’s leadership for giving away the name Macedonia in a deal to rename the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).
A council of judges ordered Constantinos Barbaroussis to pay bail of 30,000 euros ($35,000), and banned him from leaving Greece pending his trial but didn’t detain him although he led police on a high-speed chase on a national highway when he fled after being tossed out of the Parliament and also from the party, whose lawmakers and dozens of members are in the third year of a trial on charges of running a criminal gang.
He was arrested in Athens on June 18, three days after, during a debate on Parliament on a no-confidence measure against Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader over the government’s deal to let FYROM be called North Macedonia, he said the military should arrest the Premier as well as President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and high-ranking officials.
Barbaroussis, who strongly opposes the government’s handling of the deal, later retracted his remarks but still faces charges of committing preparatory acts for high treason, which carries a possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
Although Golden Dawn has denounced Tsipras and his government as traitors, no charges have been brought against anyone else.
(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)