Head of Greek intelligence services quits on wiretapping allegations

ATHENS, Aug 5 (Reuters) – The head of Greek intelligence services stepped down on Friday amid increased scrutiny of agency surveillance practices, including the accusation of an opposition party leader that he was tapped in 2021.

Panagiotis Kontoleon, head of EYP’s intelligence service, resigned “following flawed actions detected during lawful wiretapping procedures,” said Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s office in a statement.

Kontoleon was not immediately available for comment.

Sign up now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Earlier this week, two lawyers who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity said Kontoleon admitted during a parliamentary committee hearing on July 29 that his servants had spied on Thanasis Koukakis, a financial journalist working for CNN Greece. read more

A closed-door trial was called after the leader of the opposition socialist PASOK party, Nikos Androulakis, complained to the prosecutors of the supreme court over an attempt to wiretap his cell phone with surveillance software in September 2021.read more

Androulakis, who was elected PASOK leader in December 2021, said Friday night that he also learned that EYP was listening to his calls in late 2021. He has not disclosed the source of the information.

Androulakis called on the Greek parliament to set up a commission of inquiry to investigate the matter and accused the government of downplaying the case.

“We found out today that EYP, which reports directly to the prime minister, eavesdropped on me during the internal election process over the PASOK leadership,” he said.

The government later said it had been informed of Androulakis’ surveillance, which was lawful because it was approved by the prosecutor, and tried to inform him, “but Androulakis chose not to respond,” government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou said in a statement.

Oikonomou added that the ruling Conservative Party, which controls 157 lawmakers in a 300-strong house, would support a motion for an inquiry committee to investigate the matter. To be approved, such a proposal must be signed by 120 legislators.

Sign up now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Reports by George Georgiopoulos and Karolina Tagaris, Additional Reports by Renee Maltezou and Angelika Koutantou; Editing by Ros Russell and Cynthia Osterman

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Leave a Comment