The head of Greece’s intelligence service quits amid allegations of wiretapping

The head of Greece’s intelligence service quits amid allegations of wiretapping

ATHENS, Aug 5 (Reuters) – The head of Greece’s intelligence service resigned on Friday following increased scrutiny of the agency’s surveillance practices, including an accusation by an opposition party leader that he was wiretapped in 2021.

Panagiotis Kontoleon, head of the EYP’s intelligence service, resigned “following wrongdoing found during lawful wiretapping procedures,” a statement from Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ office said.

Kontoleon was not immediately available for comment.

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Earlier this week, two lawmakers who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity said Kontoleon had admitted during a parliamentary committee hearing on July 29 that his service had spied on Thanasis Koukakis, a financial journalist who works for CNN Greece. read more

The closed hearing was called after the leader of the socialist opposition PASOK party Nikos Androulakis filed a complaint with the prosecution in the Supreme Court for an attempt to wrongly process his mobile phone with surveillance software in September 2021. read more

Androulakis, who was elected PASOK leader in December 2021, said on Friday night that he had also learned that the EYP was listening to his calls in late 2021. He did not reveal the source of the information.

Androulakis asked the Greek parliament to set up an investigative committee to look into the case and accused the government of downplaying the case.

“We found out today that the EYP, which reports directly to the prime minister, continued to wiretap me during the internal election process over PASOK’s leadership,” he said.

The government later said it had been made aware of Androulakis’ surveillance, which it said was legal as it was authorized by a prosecutor, and had tried to inform him “but Androulakis chose not to respond,” government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou said in a statement .

Oikonomou added that the ruling Conservative Party, which controls 157 lawmakers in the 300-seat house, would support a request to set up an investigative committee to investigate the case. To be approved, such a proposal must be signed by 120 lawmakers.

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Reporting by George Georgiopoulos and Karolina Tagaris, additional reporting by Renee Maltezou and Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Ros Russell and Cynthia Osterman

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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