Involvement in espionage behind removal of Greek intelligence chief

The resignation of a senior security official occupies the Greek street these days, its hero being the director of Greek intelligence, Panagiotis Kontolio, who presented his resignation this weekend, after the outbreak of an alleged espionage scandal against a leader of the opposition party and journalist for the illegal information program “Predator”.

The resignation, accepted by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, comes a week after it was revealed that an attempt to use the program to monitor the leader of the opposition Greek Socialist Party, Nikos Andrulakis, sparked protests.

The resignation of Contollion, who was appointed in August 2019, comes hours after the Secretary General of the Prime Minister’s Office, Gregory Demetria Des, tendered his resignation.

Demetria Des, according to the investigative website “Reporters United”, is “associated with individuals and legal entities directly or indirectly involved in the wiretapping case.”

The leader of the aforementioned party, which is the third party in Parliament, said that “discovering who hides behind these harmful practices is not a personal matter but a democratic duty”, and called on the government to refrain from “any attempt (…) to underestimate this problem.

It should be noted that this is the third case of alleged espionage in Greece in less than a year. In April, the Greek journalist and specialist in financial affairs, Thanassis Kokakis, filed a complaint against said espionage system.

A case was also brought before the Supreme Court in February concerning alleged wiretapping by intelligence services of another Greek investigative journalist on immigration issues.

In all three cases, the Greek government ruled out “any state involvement,” denying any involvement in alleged wiretapping operations in recent months, noting that the state had not purchased such programs.