NEWS

Suicide related to phone tapping

The death of Vodafone software engineer Costas Tsalikidis last March is related to the phone-tapping scandal, according to the results of a preliminary probe released yesterday which ruled out foul play in his apparent suicide. Supreme Court prosecutor Dimitris Linos said that Tsalikidis’s decision to take hang himself is clearly tied to the eavesdropping incident which targeted senior government figures, including Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. «If there had not been the phone tapping, there would not have been a suicide,» Linos said. «For someone to have participated in the suicide, he would needed to have convinced the person to kill himself or have been present to encourage the suicide. In this particular case, neither happened.» The confirmation ends months of speculation by the press into the circumstances behind the death amid suggestions that intelligence agencies were listening on the phone lines before and after the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. The case file on Tsalikidis will be included in the main investigation into the phone tapping, Linos added. Prosecutor Yiannis Diotis, who conducted the probe, said Tsalikidis’s body did not bear evidence of substance abuse. Tsalikidis had complained of work-related stress shortly before his death and bought the rope used in the hanging a few days before his death. Meanwhile, no new details were provided by two Vodafone employees and an Ericsson staff member who faced a parliamentary committee hearing on the phone-tapping scandal yesterday.