Greek intelligence boss resigns amid wiretapping allegations

ATHENS, Aug 5 (Reuters) – Greece’s intelligence chief resigned on Friday amid heightened scrutiny of the agency’s surveillance practices, including an accusation by an opposition party leader that it would have been wiretapped in 2021.

Panagiotis Kontoleon, head of the EYP’s intelligence service, has tendered his resignation “following erroneous actions discovered during legal wiretapping procedures”, according to a statement from the office of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Kontoleon was not immediately reachable for comment.

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Earlier this week, two lawmakers who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity said Kontoleon admitted during a July 29 parliamentary committee hearing that his service had spied on Thanasis Koukakis, a financial reporter who works for CNN Greece. . Read more

This closed hearing was called after the leader of the socialist opposition PASOK party, Nikos Androulakis, filed a complaint with leading prosecutors for trying to tap his mobile phone with surveillance software in September 2021. read more

Androulakis, who was elected head of PASOK in December 2021, said Friday evening that he also learned that EYP was listening in on his conversations in late 2021. He did not reveal the source of the information.

Androulakis called on the Greek parliament to set up a commission of inquiry to look into the matter and accused the government of downplaying the issue.

“We discovered today that EYP, which reports directly to the prime minister, tapped telephones during the internal election process regarding the leadership of PASOK,” he said.

The government later said it had been made aware of Androulakis’ surveillance, which it said was legal because it had been approved by a prosecutor, and had sought to inform it “but Androulakis chose to not respond,” government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou said in a statement.

Oikonomou added that the ruling Conservative Party, which controls 157 lawmakers in a 300-seat house, would support a call for a commission of inquiry to look into the matter. To be approved, such a motion must be signed by 120 legislators.

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Reporting by George Georgiopoulos and Karolina Tagaris, additional reporting by Renee Maltezou and Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Ros Russell and Cynthia Osterman

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