The Greek parliament’s parliamentary ethics committee on Thursday voted unanimously to lift the immunity of 11 MPs of far-right party ‘Spartiates’ (Spartans) following an Athens Prosecutor’s order to investigate if they are acting as a ‘front’ and controlled by jailed former Golden Dawn lieutenant Ilias Kasidiaris.

The accused denied the allegations, speaking to the press and the Ethics Committee, saying they were ‘unfounded’. Seven of the deputies reportedly requested to waive their immunity to prove, as they said, their innocence.

The request was formally conveyed to Parliament President Costas Tassoulas by high court prosecutor Georgia Adilini, and comes amid a high-profile investigation by the latter into statements made two months ago by the party’s president, Vassilis Stigas.

At the time, Stigas referred to “Greek mafia” practices reminiscent of the cinematic “Godfather Don Corleone” to portray efforts, by third parties as he claimed at the time, to manipulate and control the Spartiates parliament group in the 300-MP legislature.