Former US Embassy official tied to wiretapping

Corruption prosecutor Dimitris Foukas on Monday issued a warrant for the arrest of a former US Embassy official on spying charges.

The arrest was ordered in connection with a judicial investigation into a wiretapping system that helped unidentified eavesdroppers listen in on the mobile phone conversations of former conservative Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and dozens of other government officials during and after the 2004 Athens Olympics.

The American citizen, who is expected to be identified in the coming days, is alleged to have been a member of the CIA’s team in Athens in the mid-1990s. According to sources, the prosecutor issued the warrant after cross-checking information according to which the individual in question allegedly purchased in June 2004 four cellphones from a store in Piraeus, three of which are said to have been used as so-called shadow phones used to record and relay conservations. An investigation indicated that the suspect’s wife bought the phones. Staff at the Piraeus cellphone store said they recognized her. Access to the suspect’s telephone records provided additional information, reinforcing the prosecutor’s belief of his alleged involvement in the wiretapping.

According to sources, the suspect left Greece shortly after the scandal was revealed in the spring of 2005 and returned that summer, as a diplomat.