ATHENS – As the New Democracy government is trying to contain a spyware and phone tapping scandal, a former Infrastructure Minister with a previous Radical Left SYRIZA government said an attempt was made to put surveillance on his cell phone.
Christos Spirtzis, said he filed a criminal complaint with Greece’s Supreme Court after he said an attempt was made to infect his phone with spyware in November, 2021, said Kathimerini.
He didn’t say if it was Predator, which financial journalist Thansis Koukakis was put on his phone by the National Intelligence Service (EYP) after he was looking into ties between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and business.
He said there were two text messages on his phone that, if opened, would have allowed whomever hacked it to have access to everything on it, including his calls, messages, passwords and personal information.
He said the text was similar to that sent to PASOK Socialist leader and Member of the European Parliament Nikos Androulakis, whose phone was bugged, but the spyware attempt didn’t work as he didn’t open the link.
But Koukakis’ phone was infected after he did open a link and the revelations have led a parliamentary committee to investigate, but it’s controlled by government lawmakers trying to keep its work secret.
Spirtzis said the first message was sent Nov. 15, 2021, after he had submitted questions relating to the surveillance work of EYP and four days later he got another he said showed a link similar to the newspaper Efimeritha ton Syntakton.
“This shows that some people desperately wanted to know which journalists and citizens I was speaking to and obviously also my conversations with the President of SYRIZA, Alexis Tsipras, about EYP and the revelations that had been made those days,” he told journalists outside the Supreme Court, the paper said.
Spirtzis said he believed his targeting is linked to his political activities as shadow citizen protection minister, responsible for issues relation to
EYP, which is monitoring the phones of 15,745 people.
EYP is under pressure after the revelations about tapping the phones of Androulakis and Koukakis although Mitsotakis said he wasn’t informed even though one of his first acts taking power in July, 2019 was putting the spy service under his direct control.