Claims of foreign involvement surface in Greek surveillance scandal

Mon, 8 Aug 2022 9:49 GMT
According to local daily, Greek ex-intel chief claims spying on opposition head requested by Armenian, Ukrainian intelligence agencies.
Claims of foreign involvement surface in Greek surveillance scandal

Greece's former intelligence chief on Saturday allegedly claimed that the intelligence services of Armenia and Ukraine requested the head of an opposition party be placed under surveillance, according to local media.

Before resigning on Friday having admitted to spying on the leader of the socialist opposition PASOK party, National Intelligence Service (EYP) head Panagiotis Kontoleon reportedly told top officials that the monitoring was done at the request of the Ukrainian and Armenian intelligence services, according to the daily Kathimerini.

Citing government sources, the newspaper said that the office of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis denied knowledge of the effort.

PASOK, for its part, accused the government of using illegitimate methods to cover up its role in the scandal, claiming that the Armenian Embassy in Greece denied allegations of Yerevan's involvement.

The party urged ministers related to the scandal, as well as Kontoleon and his successor, to attend parliament's Institutions and Transparency Committee next week to reveal the full truth.

"We call on Greek justice to immediately investigate all the revelations," it said on Twitter.

Meanwhile, state-run news agency AMNA announced that Prime Minister Mitsotakis was expected to make a statement on the matter on Monday.

Head-spinning developments in the Greek surveillance scandal

On Friday, Kontoleon resigned over the scandal, along with Grigoris Dimitriadis, the prime minister's general secretary.

Alexis Tsipras, leader of the main opposition SYRIZA-PS party, said the resignations were an admission of guilt.

Last week, Kontoleon told the parliamentary Institutions and Transparency Committee that his agency was spying on journalist Thanasis Koukakis.

The committee's closed-door hearing came after PASOK chief Androulakis complained to top prosecutors about an attempt to hack his cell phone with tracking software.

The Greek government, however, asserted that authorities do not use the spyware allegedly used in Koukakis' tapping and do not do business with the companies that sell it.


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