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Greek PM used spy agency to wiretap generals, other key officials: report

  • 5 Dec 2022

Greece’s intelligence agency spied on top generals in the armed forces, lawmakers, businesspersons and journalists, reports a local Greek daily.

PM Mitsotakis appeared to have been involved in the illegal surveillance of “people with institutional roles and is doing everything to avoid being exposed”, the Greek daily alleged. ( Reuters )

Greece’s intelligence agency spied on top generals in the armed forces, lawmakers, businesspersons and journalists, a local Greek daily has reported. 

The new revelations emerge in the backdrop of another major surveillance scandal that has rocked the country for the past several months.

National Intelligence Services (EYP), which directly operates under Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, wiretapped Chief of General Staff Konstantinos Floros, Chief of Land Forces Charalambos Lalousis and General Director of Defence Investments and Armaments Thodoris Lagios, the daily Documento reported on Sunday.

It added that prominent business figures Panagiotis Kanellopoulos and George Filiopoulos, journalists George Tragas and Aris Spinos, European Parliament member Eva Kaili and Yannis Zervakis, senior advisor to the prime minister on civil society, were also victims to EYP spying.

READ MORE: Opposition presses Greek govt over spy scandal amid new revelations

PM Mitsotakis appeared to have been involved in the illegal surveillance of “people with institutional roles and is doing everything to avoid being exposed”, the Greek daily alleged, citing cross-checked “reliable sources”.

The criminal offences, which the report said include high treason and espionage, were committed under the pretext of national security and called for them to be investigated by the highest competent courts.

According to the report, Mitsotakis, as the political head of the EYP, could lift measures restricting access to information which could aid the investigation.

Meanwhile, the main opposition SYRIZA-PS party harshly criticised the government after the latest revelations by Documento.

Speaking to the reporters following a visit to Isidoros Dogiako, prosecutor of the country’s Supreme Court, party chief Alexis Tsipras said “the information accused Mitsotakis of converting the EYP into the centre of a parastatal organisation”.

Surveillance scandal

These were the latest revelations concerning a scandal that erupted on August 4 when Panagiotis Kontoleon, then-head of the intelligence service, told a parliamentary committee that the EYP had been spying on financial journalist Thanasis Koukakis.

On August 5, Kontoleon, along with the general secretary of the prime minister’s office, Grigoris Dimitriadis, resigned from their positions.

PM Mitsotakis acknowledged days later that opposition politician Nikos Androulakis was also wiretapped by the EYP but denied knowledge of the operation.

READ MORE: Greek gov't sinks into political crisis amid spy scandal - L’Echo

A parliamentary probe was launched after Androulakis complained to top prosecutors about an attempt to hack his cellphone with Predator spyware.

Early last month, Documento published a list of 33 individuals allegedly spied on by the EYP on the direct orders of Dimitriadis, which included the names of the country’s foreign minister, deputy defence minister, development minister, labour minister, finance minister and several former high-profile government and security officials.

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