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Politics

Androulakis Refuses Wiretapping Briefing, Doesn’t Trust Officials

ATHENS – PASOK Socialist party leader Nikos Androulakis, whose cell phone was wiretapped and an attempt made to install spyware on it, rejected an offer by the New Democracy government for a briefing on how it happened, saying he doesn’t trust any of its officials.

Androulakis has gone to the country’s highest court to try to find out who was behind the surveillance although he said it was by the National Intelligence Agency (EYP) which was also tracking financial journalist Thanasis Koukakis’ phone calls.

Androulakis is also a Member of the European Parliament and said he only discovered the attempt to infect his phone with Predator spyware when he took it to analysts there.

It was later revealed that his phone was tapped, allowing hackers to listen in on his calls to other party officials – including former prime ministers – although Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said it was legal – but wrong.

“If I had not been a member of the European Parliament, today both I and the entire Greek people, would not have known about the deep state methods used by the current government,” he said in a statement.

“We would not have known that, in September 2021, shortly after the announcement of my candidacy for the leadership of PASOK, the National Intelligence Service began monitoring me and a few days later there was an attempt to tap my mobile phone using the Predator software,” he added, said Kathimerini.

“By monitoring me, an entire party was also monitored, including former prime ministers, members of parliament, and members of the party, who talked with me regularly about the developments. It wasn’t just me they were monitoring, but an entire democratic party,” he added.

Androulakis said that he is not going to accept an unofficial briefing on the affair, as suggested by the government, and that he has no trust in government ministers or the new head of EYP.

That came after government spokesperson Giannis Oikonomou said that “these issues” should not be discussed in public but secretly although Mitsotakis agreed there should be an investigation.

The premier said he was not informed of the surveillance and quickly forced out his former General-Secretary – his nephew Grigoris Dimitriadis – former EYP chief Panagiotis Kontoleon, who was supposed to report to the Prime Minister directly but had kept the surveillance a secret.

Oikonomou – in shades of the 1970’s US Watergate affair in which then-President Richard Nixon’s secretary Rose Mary Woods said White House tapes were accidentally erased – said EYP files of Androulakis’ calls may have been destroyed.

Androulakis wasn’t buying that and said that, “I will not tolerate ‘loss’ or tampering with data. I will not play the conspiracy game with leaks about foreign countries,” he also said.

That was in reference to Kontoleon, said Reuters earlier, telling a parliamentary committee that the eavesdropping was done at the request of the Armenian and Ukrainian intellligence agencies wanting information about Androulakis’ role on an European Parliament committee about China.

The ambassadors of Ukraine and Armenia denied the allegations.

Androulakis wants the file – if it’s not destroyed – sent to the Parliament’s Institutions and Transparency Committee and for an official briefing of Greece’s regulator on communication privacy, ADAE, and the Hellenic Data Protection Authority (DPA) about the reasons for what he described as an “illegal and unconstitutional monitoring” by EYP, the paper said.

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