ATHENS – After New Democracy ruling government lawmakers on a spyware probe panel where they hold a majority voted to keep discussions and findings secret, rival party members left in protest over what they said was a coverup.
The committee was set up after PASOK Socialist leader Nikos Androulakis – also a Member of the European Parliament – demanded an investigation into the tapping of his phone and attempt to install Predator spyware on it.
The cell phone of financial reporter Thanasis Koukakis is also being bugged – as are 15,743 others in the country by the National Intelligence Service (EYP) – and Androulakis demanding to know why he was being monitored.
The PASOK and SYRIZA members of the committee said they wouldn’t take part in the committee’s work because what they said was an “essential witness” wouldn’t be called.
The New Democracy Members of Parliament, who must do as ordered by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis – who said he didn’t know of the bugging of Androulakis’ phone although EYP is supposed to report to him – can effectively kill or keep confidential any findings.
It will also examine allegations that phones belonging to officials in Greece’s KK communist party were tapped in 2016 – when SYRIZA was in power, the Leftists leader Alexis Tsipras not lashing out at the Conservatives over the scandal.
The walkout was prompted by the panel setting up a list of witnesses, said Kathimerini, who would be called to testify into the use of phone tapping, although the government has denied using Predator.
Leaving the unfinished meeting, PASOK rapporteur Evangelia Liagouli, accused the government majority of an attempted “cover-up” and said her party wouldn’t be part of it.
“New Democracy reached the point of not accepting any essential witness, not even the nephew of the Prime Minister, Grigoris Dimitriadis, who was dismissed by the Prime Minister himself as the political head of EYP, not even the wiretapped journalist Thanasis Koukakis, not even the witnesses proposed by the Communist Party for the wiretapping of its call center – persons whose testimonies are necessary to find the truth,” she said.
“We will not be complicit,” she added. She and the other PASK member on the panel briefed Parliament Speaker Konstantinos Tassoulas – who is from New Democracy and is close to Mitsotakis.
The Conservative lawmakers said nothing would be revealed, including what Mitsotakis’ role may have been, nor any details about the workings of EYP, which means unless there are leaks of the talks the public won’t know what happened.