Androulakis says he will take his case all the way to European Court of Human Rights

Thu, 1 Sep 2022 10:01 GMT
Opposition leader who was under surveillance says he is victim of political conspiracy. Nikos Androulakis says he will take his case all the way to European Court of Human Rights.
Androulakis says he will take his case all the way to European Court of Human Rights

Opposition leader who found himself targeted by state surveillance said he is victim of a political conspiracy orchestrated by the prime minister and his underlings, local media said Wednesday.

The reason behind the surveillance, which the government refused to reveal so far, was blackmail, Nikos Androulakis, the leader of Greece’s third-largest political party, told SKAI, one of the country’s top radio stations.

To this end, he said, they wanted to use Israeli-made Predator spyware which can access not only phone conversations and messages but also personal files stored on cellphones.

Androulakis reiterated that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is personally responsible for his surveillance by the National Intelligence Services (EYP).

But he is still trying to blame the victim, Androulakis claimed.

Androulakis also denied Mitsotakis’ argument that he refused to be informed by the government of the surveillance, saying: “No competent agency ever asked to officially inform me.”

Androulakis also stressed he will take his case to the European Court of Human Rights and pursue action against Panagiotis Kontoleon, the former intel chief.

Meanwhile, Nasos Iliopoulos, the former deputy labor minister and spokesperson of the main opposition SYRIZA-PS, told public broadcaster ERT that covering up the scandal, instead of answering the questions by the opposition and the public, has been the government’s main concern.

Referring to local media reports that the intel agency was ordered to destroy surveillance material, he said the government has not pushed back on these claims.

Iliopoulos also said the government has been using talking points about national security and pride to cover up the scandal.

He also argued that the European People’s Party, which the ruling Nea Dimokratia (ND) is part of in the European Parliament, is blocking hearings on Androulakis by an appropriate committee.

“What exactly are they afraid of?” Iliopoulos asked.

-Surveillance scandal

In an address to the nation on Aug. 8, Mitsotakis acknowledged that Androulakis was wiretapped by the intel agency, but denied knowledge of the operation.

"It was formally OK but politically unacceptable," he said.

The announcement followed the resignation of EYP head Kontoleon and the Prime Minister's Secretary General Grigoris Dimitriadis on Aug. 5.

The scandal unfolded on Aug. 4 when Kontoleon told a parliamentary committee that his agency had been spying on financial journalist Thanasis Koukakis.

The parliamentary probe was launched after Androulakis complained to top prosecutors about an attempt to hack his cellphone with Israeli-made Predator surveillance software.

Opposition parties blame Mitsotakis for the scandal and have called for his government to hold snap elections, something he rejects.

The European Commission and European Parliament have said they are closely monitoring developments related to the scandal.


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