NEWS

Decoded Stasi files tell the tale of Agent Krokus

Socrates Kokkalis, the telecommunications, software and electronic gaming tycoon, gave the East German intelligence service frequent reports, right up to 1989, the year in which East Germany collapsed, Kathimerini reported yesterday. This is illustrated by documents printed from the electronic files of the Stasi spy service, or System Information und Recherche der Aufklaring (SIRA). These records, a type of catalog of the Stasi’s huge store of paper documentation, were believed to have been destroyed. But copies were found in 1990 which took eight years to decipher. When the code was broken, Western authorities found material that had been provided by 4,500 sources, with their code names, from 1969 to 1989. On the basis of this, American authorities convicted an American couple of spying and sentenced them to 17 years and 21 years in prison. Athens prosecutor Dimitris Papangelopoulos filed six felony charges against Kokkalis last February, including one of espionage on behalf of the former East Germany, where Kokkalis grew up and studied, until 1989. German authorities sent Papangelopoulos evidence allegedly showing Kokkalis had been hired by the East German secret police to provide Western technological secrets. No details of the investigation, believed to be based on Stasi files, have been announced. But the SIRA files provide more information on Kokkalis’s alleged activities on behalf of the Stasi, first under the code name Kaskade and then Krokus, and covering the period from 1985 to 1989. They present at least seven reports in which Krokus provided information on then Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou; opposition New Democracy party leader Constantinos Mitsotakis; PASOK ministers Costas Laliotis, Gerasimos Arsenis and Yiannis Haralambopoulos; leading New Democracy members Andreas Andrianopoulos and Yiannis Boutos. Some of the reports were forwarded to the Soviet Union on the day they were received from Athens, according to the documents published in Kathimerini. The period 1985-89 was also the time when East Germany was trying to gain business influence in Greece and Kokkalis’s companies were gaining a strong foothold in the country. Government spokesman Christos Protopappas said he would comment today after reading the material. New Democracy’s spokesman Theodoris Roussopoulos said, «New Democracy has absolute faith in the independent Greek judiciary and is waiting for it to clear up all the issues that it is investigating.» Last July, a Piraeus court rejected a 6.6-million-euro slander suit brought by Kokkalis against Kathimerini over a series of articles on his possible collaboration with the Stasi. The court said the reports were fully corroborated.