Ukraine, Armenia reject claims of involvement in Greek surveillance scandal

Mon, 8 Aug 2022 9:52 GMT
According to local media, Greek ex-intel chief claims spying on opposition leader was requested by Armenia, Ukraine
Ukraine, Armenia reject claims of involvement in Greek surveillance scandal

Ukraine and Armenia on Sunday rejected allegations of involvement in a surveillance scandal in Greece that has led to the resignation of the country's intelligence chief as well as a top prime minister's aide.

Reports emerged on Saturday of Panagiotis Kontoleon, the former head of Greece's National Intelligence Service who resigned on Friday, alleging that the Armenian and Ukrainian intelligence services requested the surveillance of the socialist opposition PASOK party's leader.

In response to the claims covered in local media, the Ukrainian Ambassador in Athens Sergii Shutenko said the allegations were "divorced from reality."

"Let me point this out-Ukraine has never requested that from Greek counterpart," Shutenko said on Twitter, adding that it was "a very convenient time to divert attention from the key issue - the Russian war in Ukraine."

For its part, the Armenian Embassy in Greece took to Facebook to similarly deny the claims, which it called a "shameless lie."

"Armenia has never asked any government to listen to anyone's phone," it added.

Meanwhile, Nikos Androulakis, the leader of PASOK at the center of the scandal, claimed on Twitter that not only was he monitored by the EYP, but that there was also an attempt to hack his cell phone by Israeli-made Predator tracking software.

In reference to the rejections by the embassies of Ukraine and Armenia, he accused the leaders of the ruling party Nea Dimokratia of being in close cooperation with right-wing extremists in spreading defamation.

"Our country and its institutions do not deserve this downfall for which Mr. (Prime Minister Kyriakos) Mitsotakis is solely responsible," he said.

Surveillance scandal

On Friday, the former EYP head Kontoleon, along with prime minister's general secretary Grigoris Dimitriadis, resigned over the scandal that erupted last week when the then-intel chief told a parliamentary committee that his agency had been spying on journalist Thanasis Koukakis.

The committee's closed-door hearing came after Androulakis complained to top prosecutors about an attempt to hack his cellphone with Israeli-made Predator tracking software.

Alexis Tsipras, leader of the main opposition SYRIZA-PS party, said the resignations were an admission of guilt, while Prime Minister Mitsotakis is expected to make a statement on the matter on Monday.


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