Wiretap names emerge

The watchdog investigating the recent phone-tapping scandal yesterday handed to a parliamentary committee the names of the people who allegedly called the mobile phones which were used to snoop on the prime minister and members of his Cabinet during the Athens Olympics. The Communications Privacy Protection Authority (ADAE) gave the parliamentary ethics and transparency committee, which is also investigating the matter, the details of the 82 phones which were used to call the 14 «shadow phones» in the eavesdropping process. The names of some of the owners of these 82 phones were passed to the committee. ADAE was not able to establish who all the owners were. Meanwhile, Public Order Minister Vyron Polydoras informed the panel of MPs that he would give them details of a separate investigation into the wiretaps by the National Intelligence Agency (EYP). In a letter to the deputies, Polydoras justified his decision by saying that EYP needed to maintain secrecy. The minister added that the parliamentary committee had not been officially registered as having investigative powers and, therefore, there was no legal requirement for EYP to supply the information. Opposition MPs on the panel may now ask for it to take on an investigative nature. ADAE submitted a report to Parliament two weeks ago in which it suggested that some employees of the Vodafone and Ericsson mobile phone companies helped set up the phone-tapping system. The watchdog yesterday also gave MPs the names of the Vodafone employees who had access to the company’s software, which was used to activate the spy system and the communications centers from which it operated. Sources said that after communicating with party leaders, the head of the parliamentary committee Anastassis Karamarios decided not to make public the details that ADAE handed over. The MPs are to meet again on Saturday in a session that will take place behind closed doors, sources said. Meanwhile, in its annual report, ADAE claimed that the police had breached rules which prevent officers from using CCTV cameras installed for the Athens Olympics for anything other than monitoring traffic. The watchdog suggested that the cameras were being used to monitor people.