ATHENS – A Greek Member of Parliament who was ejected from the ruling New Democracy and a noted investigative journalist are among those whose phones were reportedly being tapped.
MEP Giorgos Kyrtsos, tossed from New Democracy after saying that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was cracking down on media freedom, and reporter Tasos Teloglou are the latest named among those surveilled, said EURACTIV.
The National Intelligence Service (EYP) earlier admitted it was listening in on the conversations of 15,745 people, citing “national security,” but wouldn’t explain why nor who they were.
Sources not named told the site that a team of from the Hellenic Authority for Communication Security and Privacy (ADAE) obtained phone bugging records from the telecommunications carrier Cosmote.
ADAE, an independent authority whose function is provided in the Greek constitution, wanted to carry out an audit following requests submitted to the authority by Kyrtsos and Teloglou who wanted to find out whether they were under surveillance by the secret services, the report added.
Greece’s Supreme Court Prosecutor Isidoros Dogiakos allegedly attempted to block the control saying it was unlawful, and several sources confirmed that the phone company’s legal advisor, after consultation with the managing director, tried to prevent turning over the records.
Despite calls to put an end to the audit, ADAE representatives insisted, saying they were independent from the judiciary, and continued carrying out the audit control, the report added.
Main opposition SYRIZA leader demanded that Mitsotakis reveal “what was the national security reason for EYP monitoring Kyrtsos and Telloglou, but government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou said it was up to the justice system.
“The so-called ‘political management’ of justice issues and the attempt to interfere in any way in its work is the first step of mismanagement, in which SYRIZA has a rich past,” he said.
In a statement, Cosmote said that ADAE wasn’t obstructed. “Cosmote expressed concern about the audit procedure, as the relevant law has recently changed,” it noted over the lingering questions of surveillance that included reports that Predator spyware was used, which the government denied.