No Minister Phone Wiretaps Found

A government check of phone lines between key minister's phones didn't show any wiretaps, Greek officials said.

ATHENS – Acting fast in the wake of a secret videotape that exposed the former Cabinet Secretary talking to the spokesman of the ultra far-right Golden Dawn party, a government check of minister’s phones didn’t show any wiretaps, officials said.

The inspection of secure lines was carried out between the offices of key ministers following the resignation earlier this month of Panayiotis Baltakos, a key aide to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, after the video showed him saying a government crackdown on Golden Dawn was based on trumped up charges.

Baltakos said he feared other videos might be coming out showing him and other ministers talking to Golden Dawn officials and implicating Samaras, the New Democracy leader in going after the extremists.

Baltakos later said he was lying and was trying to get information about Golden Dawn, whose hierarchy has been jailed pending trial on charges of running a criminal gang. He also said Samaras knew nothing about it.

The government is moving to prosecute the Golden Dawn spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris for allegedly making the video while talking to Baltakos and having it posted on a Russian website.

That led government officials to also fear a link between Golden Dawn and Russian interests, although not necessarily the government there as Russian President Vladimir Putin has been in a co-operative relationship with Samaras.