By Anadolu Agency staff
ANKARA (AA) - Greece's intelligence agency spied on top generals in the country's armed forces, among other high-profile figures, a local daily reported as new revelations emerge on a major surveillance scandal that has rocked Greece over the past several months.
National Intelligence Services (EYP), which directly operates the country's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, wiretapped Chief of General Staff Konstantinos Floros, Chief of Land Forces Charalambos Lalousis, and General Director of Defense Investments and Armaments Thodoris Lagios, the daily Documento reported on Sunday.
It added that prominent businessmen Panagiotis Kanellopoulos and George Filiopoulos, journalists George Tragas and Aris Spinos, European Parliament member Eva Kaili, and Yannis Zervakis, senior advisor to the prime minister on civil society, were also subject to EYP spying.
The daily alleged that Prime Minister Mitsotakis appeared to have been involved in the illegal surveillance of "people with institutional roles and is doing everything to avoid being exposed," citing cross-checked "reliable sources"
These criminal offenses, which it said include high treason and espionage, were committed under the pretext of national security and should be investigated by the highest competent courts, it said, adding that Mitsotakis himself, as the political head of the EYP, could lift measures restricting access to information that could aid in the investigation.
Meanwhile, the main opposition SYRIZA-PS party harshly criticized the government after the latest revelations by Documento.
Speaking to the reporters following a visit to Isidoros Dogiako, prosecutor of the country’s supreme court, party chief Alexis Tsipras said the information, accused Mitsotakis of converting the EYP into the center of a parastatal organization.
Reiterating that monitoring of the country's top generals put national security at risk, he said: "We all have a responsibility not to let this heavy shadow hover over our political system and country's armed forces."
"We all know where the facts and evidence are. Where, as the law dictates, records of the provisions and monitoring orders are required to be kept by the EYP and of course to those who signed the provisions and monitoring orders," he added.
- Surveillance scandal
These were the latest revelations concerning a scandal that erupted on Aug. 4 when Panagiotis Kontoleon, then-head of the National Intelligence Service (EYP), told a parliamentary committee that the intelligence agency had been spying on financial journalist Thanasis Koukakis.
On Aug. 5, Kontoleon, along with the general secretary of the prime minister's office, Grigoris Dimitriadis, resigned.
Prime Minister Mitsotakis acknowledged days later that opposition politician Nikos Androulakis was also wiretapped by the EYP but denied knowledge of the operation.
A parliamentary probe was launched after Androulakis complained to top prosecutors about an attempt to hack his cellphone with Predator spyware.
Early last month, Documento published a list of 33 individuals allegedly spied on by the EYP on the direct orders of Dimitriadis, including Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, Deputy Defense Minister Nikos Hardalias, Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis, Labor Minister Kostis Hatzidakis, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras, former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, former Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis, and former National Security Adviser Alexandros Diakopoulos.
Opposition parties have been blaming Mitsotakis for the scandal and called for his government to hold snap elections, something he rejects.
The European Commission and European Parliament are closely monitoring developments related to the scandal.