Thursday, June 7, 2012

Greek lawmaker hits female rival on TV

A politician in Greece is wanted by police for his behavior on a live TV program where he threw a glass of water on a political rival then punched another.'s Dara Brown reports.

By ITV News and Reuters

ATHENS ? The spokesman for Greece's far-right party Golden Dawn threw a glass of water at a female leftist politician and hit another in the face on live television Thursday, causing a political uproar and leading a prosecutor to seek his arrest.

The morning talk show on private television station Antenna was interrupted by the incident and Ilias Kasidiaris was locked in a room at the TV studio but he broke down a door and escaped, the TV host said.

ITV News, which carried a video of the incident, reported that a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Kasidiaris, who is a member of parliament, is sought for attempting to inflict dangerous bodily harm, which carries a sentence of up to 10 years in jail. However, the sentence can be turned into a fine.

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What was a heated debate over the June 17 elections descended into chaos when Kasidiaris threw a glass of water at the female leftist party member, Rena Dourou, calling her a "joke".

A new election is scheduled for June 17, as debate continues over the country's place in the euro zone. NBC's Stephanie Gosk reports.

As other participants watched in stunned silence, Communist party deputy Liana Kanelli intervened on her behalf, throwing a newspaper at Kasidiaris, who called her a "commie", stood up, pushed her and hit her hard in the face.

Watch the video at ITV News

Golden Dawn won parliamentary seats in May 6 elections, riding a wave of discontent against illegal immigrants in austerity-ridden Greece. The party denies it is neo-Nazi, though its chief Nikos Mihaloliakos delivers Nazi salutes and has denied the Holocaust.

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Political rivals were quick to condemn the assault, and some urged Golden Dawn supporters to change their minds before the June 17 vote, which was called as no working majority emerged from the election last month.

Golden Dawn said in a statement on its website that Kasidiaris had been provoked.

Reuters contributed to this report. ITV News is the British partner of NBC News.

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