Greek police on Tuesday raided the Athens offices of several companies that could be related to the wiretapping scandal that has rocked the government in recent months.
Among the companies targeted was of Intellexa, an Israeli-owned company related to the Predator spyware. Raids were also carried out in the houses of the company’s CEOs.
The raids were conducted on the prosecutors’ orders by the cybercrime unit, following information that there may be findings useful for the case.
At the same time, the prosecutor sent a written official request to the National Intelligence Agency (EYP) whether the names of politicians, journalists and others, which some media reports said were being monitored, correspond to reality.
Minister’s phone under surveillance in Greek wiretapping scandal
Last Sunday a paper published telephone conversations of a prominent minister who was allegedly spied upon by the intelligence service (EYP).
Newspaper Documento, who almost single-handily exposed the wiretapping scandal that has rattled the government over the last months, said that for almost a year, from November 27, 2020 to November 17, 2021, the then Minister of Energy, Kostis Hatzidakis, was under surveillance.
His phone was compromised by the Predator spyware operated by EYP using the code 5046c.
Main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance challenged PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Sunday to reveal the reasons why Hatzidakis had been targeted by EYP.
The Greek government has consistently denied that it used the Predator software to spy on politicians and journalists. It has admitted that such a system may be in operation in Greece but denies any involvement.
On Friday lawmakers in Greece approved legislation banning commercial spyware and reforming rules for legally-sanctioned wiretaps.
The 156-142 vote in parliament followed two days of debate, during which opposition lawmakers accused the government of attempting to cover up the illegal surveillance.
Under the new law, the use, sale or distribution of spyware in Greece will carry a penalty of a two-year minimum prison sentence.
Additional safeguards were also planned for legal wiretaps as well as for hiring the director and deputy directors of EYP.