Pressure mounts on EYP to give tapping answers

The heads of the National Intelligence Agency (EYP) are due to appear today before a parliamentary committee to answer more questions about the recent phone-tapping scandal, after opposition MPs yesterday intensified their accusations that the secret service is involved in a cover-up. MPs on the transparency committee convened yesterday to hear from the head of the Communications Privacy Protection Authority (ADAE), Andreas Lambrinopoulos, as the deputies attempt to uncover who eavesdropped on some 100 mobile phones, including the prime minister’s and those of members of his Cabinet, in 2004. The deputies have been demanding for the last few weeks more information from EYP, which conducted its own secret investigation into the case. Public Order Minister Vyron Polydoras has so far turned down these requests. Lambrinopoulos said the information from EYP would help in ADAE’s probe. «We have reached our limits. This is as far as we can go with the information at our disposal,» he said. «Of course, EYP’s information would be very useful to us. We do not have the capability to go to every village to investigate the matter.» However, Lambrinopoulos repeated his belief that the lack of information provided by Vodafone – the mobile phone company at the center of the scandal – had also hampered the investigation. «ADAE also had difficulty with the data that Vodafone destroyed or did not circulate,» the head of the watchdog said. «We are surprised that in a matter of utmost national importance, it did not keep all the information, even though it was certain that there would be a probe.» Following the comments by Lambrinopoulos that EYP did not assist ADAE, deputies said they would today question the director of the secret service, Yiannis Korandis, and his deputy, Seraphim Tsitsibis. PASOK MPs also accused recently retired Supreme Court prosecutor Dimitris Linos and current first instance prosecutor Dimitris Papangelopoulos of helping to prevent details of EYP’s investigation being passed on to ADAE. «This is a clear breach of the Constitution and legal procedure. Mr Linos and Mr Papangelopoulos should appear in Parliament,» said Socialist deputy Evangelos Venizelos. «If I was the justice minister and I told the prosecutors that there was a matter of national security in which secrecy must be maintained, I would expect a similar stance [to that of Linos and Papangelopoulos] on their behalf,» said PASOK MP Apostolos Kaklamanis.