Wiretapping case triggers political unrest 

Intelligence chief quits over ‘oversights,’ close aide to PM steps down due to ‘toxic climate’ 

Wiretapping case triggers political unrest 

The wiretapping case that has grabbed headlines over the last week led to the resignations on Friday of Grigoris Dimitriadis from the position of the prime minister’s secretary-general, and Panagiotis Kontoleon, the chief of the National Intelligence Service (EYP).

In his letter of resignation to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Kontoleon cited “oversights in the process of statutory inspections.”

Kontoleon had submitted his resignation “following mistaken actions found during lawful wiretapping procedures,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement.

Any monitoring must be approved by a prosecutor in accordance with Greek law.

Themistoklis Demiris, secretary-general of the Foreign Ministry, will take his place. 

After the summer break, Demiris is scheduled to brief Parliament’s Ethics and Transparency Committee on these developments.

The resignation of Dimitriadis, the statement said, was due to the “toxic climate established surrounding his person.”

He will be replaced by Ioannis Bratakos, until now president of the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EVEA).

Kathimerini understands that developments began to unfold on Thursday afternoon, when Mitsotakis was informed by EYP that it had in the past recorded the telephone communications of PASOK-KINAL chairman Nikos Androulakis “during lawful wiretapping procedures.”

According to his close associates, the briefing provoked an angry response from Mitsotakis.

Firstly, because the decision was taken by EYP to activate the process of monitoring Androulakis’ mobile phone without prior notification of the political leadership. Androulakis lodged a complaint with top court prosecutors over an attempted bugging of his mobile phone with Predator spyware.

What’s more, the issue of surveillance, after Androulakis’ complaint was lodged, has been at the forefront of the news for days and no one involved and in the know, especially the leadership of EYP, thought that they should inform the PM’s office.

They only decided to informed the PM’s office after information requested by the Communications Privacy Authority (CSA) revealed that the secrecy had been lifted for Androulakis.

“Given everything that had gone on before, you can’t just not mention such a procedure,” said the PM’s aides. 

The government said it is at Androulakis’ disposal for any information and briefing he requests.

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