ATHENS – Growing reports of the use of Predator spyware claimed that Greek police and the National Intelligence Service EYP were monitoring targets and undermine Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ assertions the government is not behind it, said the major opposition SYRIZA.
With both sides already essentially in a pre-campaign mode although the mid-2023 elections are months off, the surveillance scandal has seen them swapping shots with no indication who is operating spyware.
The news site Documento, which is sympathetic to SYRIZA and the newspaper To Vima, which is owned by shipping oligarch Evangelos Marinakis who’s embroiled in a feud with Mitsotakis, made further allegations of spyware use.
Those, said SYRIZA in a release, have led “to the collapse of (Mitsotakis’) narrative that a supposed unknown private party was operating the malware,” said the state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency AMNA.
“The revelations that are made public complete new pieces of the puzzle of the illegal surveillance and leave no room for doubt regarding Mr. Mitsotakis’ guilt,” the statement said.
That noted that To Vima reported that, “Predator not only operated in areas of the Greek public sector but that those operating it were seconded police officers, whose names and surnames are made public for the first time.”
The Leftists, who are far behind in surveys and scrambling to pick up ground, said Mitsotakis must confirm or deny whether claims made by Documento which said that his own Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis and another official were being spied on.
“As long as he does not dare to do so and keeps quiet, he confirms how dangerous a Prime Minister he is for democracy,” the party statement concluded, with To Vima also reporting EYP and the police were involved.
The paper also partly revealed the identities of Greek senior police officers who were involved in the surveillance publishing their initials. It claimed that the wiretapping was conducted by an EYP secret office located in the Athenian suburb of Agia Paraskevi.
Government spokesperson Giannis Economou, in a statement, said the clais were made up and described them as “fanciful” and “lacking any evidence or backing,” although he didn’t say whether charges were pressed as the government has barred release of information about spyware cases.