Wiretapping case: The phone data that triggered developments

Wiretapping case: The phone data that triggered developments

On Wednesday, August 3, a few days after PASOK leader Nikos Androulakis claimed that an attempt had been made to bug his phone with the illegal Predator spyware, the Hellenic Authority for Communication Security and Privacy (ADAE) convened for a meeting.

That meeting agreed to establish a committee to investigate Androulakis’ allegations. The authority was keen to be seen to be acting and did not expect much from the investigation.

The audit would take place at Androulakis’ telecommunications provider, where surveillance software such as Predator leaves no traces.

The following day, ADAE inspectors went to WIND, Androulakis’ telecommunications provider, where they requested and obtained information on his telephone connection.

What emerged from the processing of that data triggered Friday’s political developments and resignations of the country’s intelligence service chief and the prime minister’s general secretary.

It emerged the National Intelligence Service (EYP) had submitted an application to lift the secrecy on Androulakis’ mobile phone.

In other words, EYP itself was monitoring the calls of the PASOK leader using the “legal wiretapping” process.

To lift the secrecy on his phone, an order was signed by Vasiliki Vlachou, the prosecutor who deals with requests from EYP. Vlachou met with Supreme Court prosecutor Isidoros Dogiakos on Friday at noon.

When the prime minister’s office and Kyriakos Mitsotakis himself learned about the findings of the investigation, the prime minister’s general secretary (and nephew) Grigoris Dimitriadis (who was responsible for EYP) and EYP chief Panagiotis Kontoleon were asked to resign on Thursday night.

The relevant announcements were made Friday morning. According to government sources, the prime minister’s office had not been informed about EYP’s monitoring of Androulakis’ mobile phone.

The same sources said that on Thursday night Kontoleon was summoned to provide explanations at the highest government level. The spy chief allegedly claimed that the monitoring of Androulakis was done at the request of the Ukrainian and Armenian intelligence services.

Other sources noted that the interest of the foreign intelligence services, and by extension the Foreign Ministry, had been piqued by the Androulakis’ involvement in a European Parliament in a committee dealing with EU trade relations with China.

The order to lift the secrecy on Androulakis’ phone was signed in September 2021, which, according to reports, coincides with the attempt to bug his mobile phone with the illegal Predator spyware.

That attempt failed, as Androulakis did not click on the link that would have installed the spyware on his device.

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