A Greek far-right MP who slapped one left-wing female politician in the face and threw a glass of water at another during a live TV debate is taking legal action against his victims.
Ilias Kasidiaris, spokesman for the Golden Dawn party, who is himself on trial for alleged involvement in a mugging, claims the two women insulted him and is suing them for defamation.
He also filed a complaint against TV station Antenna for wrongful detention after network staff locked him in a room while waiting for police to arrive at the studio after the incident, until he broke down the door and escaped.
The 31-year-old shocked viewers last week when he threw a glass of water at rival politician Rena Dourou, a deputy in the Syriza party, after she referred to the court case pending against him and claimed his party would "drag Greece 500 years into the past".
He then struck Communist party deputy Liana Kanelli around the face three times as she rose to push him away during the heated TV debate ahead of national elections on June 17.
The former army commando went into hiding after the assault and resurfaced after an arrest warrant expired.
It means he will remain free until his trial on the charge of causing serious bodily harm which carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.
He blamed the two women at the weekend for deliberately provoking him into the attack.
He said he was acting in defence after Ms Kanelli threw a newspaper at him.
"I never expected that I would be hit in the face on live TV," he said.
"I did what millions of Greeks would have done - when you get hit in the face you have to defend yourself."
Flanked by bodyguards outside a court in Athens on Monday, he told reporters: "I have come to the prosecutor today to file a lawsuit against Mrs Kanelli and Mrs Dourou for unprovoked defamation, and against TV station Antenna for my illegal detention."
He was due to stand trial the same day on separate charges - which he denies - of helping assailants attack an assistant university professor in 2007, but the hearing was postponed until September.