Greek Secret Service Admits Wiretapping of Journalist
ANKARA, Aug 4 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – Aug 4, 2022): The Greek National Intelligence Service (EYP) has confessed to bugging a journalist working for CNN Greece, local media reported on Thursday.
Quoting Reuters, I Avgi, a daily published in Athens, said Panagiotis Kontoleon, the head of the EYP, told parliament’s Institutions and Transparency Committee last week that his agency was spying on journalist Thanasis Koukakis.
The committee’s closed hearing came after Nikos Androulakis, leader of the opposition socialist PASOK party, complained to senior prosecutors about an attempt to hack into his mobile phone with tracking software.
Government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou claimed that Greek authorities do not use the spyware allegedly used in Koukakis’ taps and do not do business with the companies that sell it.
A victim of wiretapping, Koukakis told the media that he did not know how he posed a threat to national security as a journalist covering economic policy and the banking system.
According to the daily, Koukakis’ case was discovered in April and the main opposition party SYRIZA-PS called for the allegations to be examined by a parliamentary committee.
His request was then denied, the report says, adding that it was only after Androulakis filed his complaint with prosecutors in late July that the request by SYRIZA-PS and PASOK-KINAL to convene the committee was accepted and a hearing followed.
According to the I Avgi report, SYRIZA-PS has officially asked Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to shed light on the two cases, which he says involve the use of the Predator surveillance software, citing important issues for democracy and civil rights.
Meanwhile, Dimitris Papadimoulis, a senior SYRIZA-PS lawmaker, has argued that the government is behaving suspiciously as if trying to hide a guilty secret.
“The issue has been widely highlighted in European media, while at the same time it has been shockingly downplayed from the first moment, in pro-government Greek media,” he said.
Likewise, the e-tetRadio outlet drew attention to the fact that the major Greek media were trying to downplay the extent of the wiretapping scandal.
What is big news for Reuters, is not even worth mentioning for the majority of Greek media, he said, adding: “As if it were reasonable and acceptable in a democracy that services secrets follow a journalist investigating scandals”. outlet argued that Mitsotakis, as political head of the EYP, bears full political responsibility for the scandal. He needs to prove he hasn’t turned the country into a “huge bug”, he said.