NEWS

Spy Lalas to come in from the USA

Greece’s most famous spy, Steven Lalas, is due to return home tomorrow after US authorities agreed to release him to serve the remainder of his sentence under supervision with his family in Kavala, it was revealed yesterday. The 54-year-old was sentenced to 14 years in jail in 1993 for passing on sensitive US military information to officers of Greece’s National Intelligence Agency (EYP). Lalas, a Greek American, was a communications officer who began divulging US secrets to EYP agents in 1985 when he was stationed at the US Embassy in Istanbul. He would meet with Greek intelligence officers whenever he traveled to Kavala, northern Greece, to see his family. Lalas continued to pass on information after being moved to the US Embassy in Athens in 1990. However, he came under suspicion following an accidental slip in a conversation between someone from the Greek Embassy in Washington and a State Department official in February 1993. Three months later, Lalas was invited to FBI headquarters in Virginia, where he was arrested. After serving a long prison sentence, he has spent the last 2.5 years under house arrest and has 2.5 more years of this term to serve. The US Department of Justice decided to release Lalas after Justice Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis provided written assurances that Athens would guarantee that the terms of his sentence are met.