Greek intelligence service boss quits amid wiretapping scandal

Greek intelligence service boss quits amid wiretapping scandal
By Reuters

ATHENS – The head of Greece’s intelligence service has stepped down, the prime minister’s office said on Friday, following growing pressure on the government to shed light on the use of surveillance malware.

EYP chief Panagiotis Kontoleon had submitted his resignation “following mistaken actions found during lawful wiretapping procedures,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement.

Kontoleon was not immediately reachable for comment.

Earlier this week, two lawmakers who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity said that Kontoleon had admitted during a parliamentary committee on July 29 that his service had spied on Thanasis Koukakis, a financial journalist who works for CNN Greece.

That closed-door hearing was called after the leader of the socialist opposition PASOK party lodged a complaint with top court prosecutors over an attempted bugging of his mobile phone with surveillance software.

In a separate statement on Friday, the prime minister’s office said a top aide to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, his secretary-general Grigoris Dimitriadis, had also resigned, without giving further details. EYP reports to the prime minister’s office.

The government says Greek authorities do not use the spyware allegedly deployed in the hacking of Koukakis and do not do business with companies selling it.

In April, a Greek prosecutor began an investigation into an allegation by Koukakis that his smartphone had been infected by surveillance software.

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