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MEPs urge Greece to do more to investigate spyware scandal | Political news


The Greek government was criticized after it was discovered that the secret service was secretly spying on politicians.

A European Parliament committee investigating the use of spyware has called on Greek officials to do more to unravel phone wiretapping in which opposition journalists and politicians have been targeted.

Earlier this year, it was reported that Greece’s secret service, the EYP, was secretly monitoring the phone of opposition party leader Nikos Androulakis.

Another opposition lawmaker and three journalists were also targeted with malware.

The commission’s rapporteur Sophie in ‘t Veld said while no hard evidence has emerged as to who installed and used the Predator spyware on the phones of the Greek victims, and at star, “everything goes to people in government circles”.

“We have learned a lot but we still feel that there are still many of our questions that need to be answered,” said committee head Jeroen Lenaers after a fact-finding visit to Greece.

While Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said he was unaware of the operation, he said it was still legal on national security grounds but did not elaborate.

The scandal forced the head of the EYP and a close aide to Mitsotakis to resign.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis attends parliamentary session on wiretapping scandal [File: Aris Messinis/Eurokinissi via AFP]

Meanwhile, Mr. Veld said Greek authorities have not made much effort to investigate the use of spyware.

“By contrast, most of the relevant information is already classified,” she says.

This matter must be clarified urgently and fully before Greece’s next parliamentary election in mid-2023, she said.

Critics also said the investigative committee failed to summon key witnesses, including Mitsotakis, his nephew, and the intelligence officers who handled the Androulakis wiretapping case.

Veld urged Athens to seek Europol’s help in the investigation “at least to secure evidence”.

The Greek government has denied using the illegal Predator spyware, which allows tracking of phone calls, messages, photos or videos.

Prominent opposition leader Alexis Tsipras, a former prime minister, urged Mitsotakis on Friday to “stop hiding and give answers”.

“Political opponents, journalists and even [Mitsotakis’s] Tsipras added.

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