The first person to give testimony in a Supreme Court prosecutor’s preliminary investigation into alleged leaks of intelligence service information related to an explosive legal wiretapping case in the country was investigative journalist Tassos Telloglou.

The surprise summons for the journalist came after he Tweeted, several days ago, that in 2018 a private individual had “bugged” communications of then main opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the current prime minister.

According to reports on Thursday, Telloglou referred to previous cases of wiretapping in the country, but without naming specific individuals.

After exiting the Supreme Court building in Athens, Telloglou told waiting reporters that his testimony before the head of the high court prosecutor’s office, Isidoros Dogiakos, was related to if and how instances of legal wiretapping involving national security were leaked.

“I had nothing to say over this issue, and I spoke about an investigation we’ve done over the past month at the ‘inside story’ (news website) over the use of the Predator, a software used to eavesdrop on mobile phone (conversations).  I explained to him that in our opinion, this (surveillance) works in tandem with legal inter-connections (wiretaps), in other words, both are used.”

He also decried the fact that the legal framework was revised in 2021, whereby individuals previously targeted for legal wiretaps could not request, via a judicial ruling, to know if they had been under surveillance. The law, in fact, which was passed by the ND majority in Parliament, has retroactive effect.

He also assessed that surveillance of PASOK-KINAL leader Nikos Androulakis and a financial reporter used both methods, i.e. a legal wiretap approved by a high-ranking prosecutor and the covertly planted Predator spyware.

“In Androulakis’ case, when he didn’t click on a link (contaminated with the spyware), a legal wiretap then took place. In terms of (reporter Thanasis) Koukakis, who clicked on such a link, the wiretap ended when he filed a complaint over the legal inter-connection, and his surveillance stopped,” Telloglou said.

Dogiakos last week announced the probe into “…the manner in which information about the surveillance of certain people was leaked.” The leaked information, according to the top prosecutor, emanates from “highly classified state documents that deal with “…the process of lifting the privacy of (phone) communications on issues that affect the country’s national security.”

Androulakis and Koukakis had charged that his phone conversations were being bugged.

A separate probe by the Athens prosecutor’s office is already underway on the substance of the surveillance.

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