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Greek prosecutor issues arrest warrant against alleged CIA agent over wiretapping scandal

A Greek prosecutor issued an arrest warrant against an American citizen, allegedly a CIA agent over the wiretapping scandal in 2004-2005, where some 100 mobile phones of members of the Greek government, then Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis included, were tapped by foreign intelligence services. According to Greek media, the identity of the person is to be published in the next days, and that the suspect was allegedly member of the operational team of CIA in Athens since the middle of the 1990’s, while he worked at the US-Embassy in Athens. The arrest warrant refers to charges for spying which is a felony.

“The arrest warrant was issued after investigation proved that this person brought in 2004, four mobile phone devices and that three of them were used as ‘shadow-devices’ to tapping phones. the purchase was done by this person’s wife and she was identified by the shop employees in Piraeus during the investigation.

The lifting of telephone privacy showed that some telephone connections were activated to devices with the subscriber’s data given the address of the US embassy in Athens.” (in.gr)

 

The suspect was apparently removed from Greece when the phone tapping case was discovered in March 2005 and that he returned in August 2005 with a diplomatic status as First Secretary at the embassy.

News website Zougla.gr, notes that the authorities have located a building in the south suburbs of Athens, where the suspect – and most probably more persons – had installed tapping antennas.

According to Athens News Agency, while in Greece, the suspect was dealing with counter-terrorism issues and he had cooperated with the Greek intelligence service in a case to remove a large quantity of explosives from the Embassy of Iraq in 2003.

“Authorities also investigate whether the suspect had possible involvement in the plot with code name Pythia” that allegedly had target to assassinate former PM Kostas Karamanlis,” the news agency notes.

According to Proto Thema, the suspect is 65 years old. He had allegedly declared to cooperate with the Greek authorities, but he never appear to testify.

Russian spies had revealed in 2012, that there was a plot to assassinate PM Kostas Karamanlis and destabilize the country in 2008/

Greek Watergate scandal

The Greek wiretapping case of 2004-2005, also referred to as Greek Watergate, involved the illegal tapping of more than 100 mobile phones on the Vodafone Greece network belonging mostly to members of the Greek government and top-ranking civil servants. The taps began sometime near the beginning of August 2004 and were removed in March 2005 without discovering the identity of the perpetrators.

The phones tapped included those of the Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis and members of his family, the Mayor of Athens, Dora Bakoyannis, most phones of the top officers at the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry for Public Order, members of the ruling party, ranking members of the opposition (PASOK), the Hellenic Navy General Staff, the previous Minister of Defense and one phone of a locally hired Greek American employee of the American Embassy.

Foreign and Greek media have raised United States intelligence agencies as the main suspects. AFP reported that one Greek official stated on background that the likely initial penetration occurred during the run-up to the 2004 Athens Olympics, stating and it was organized by foreign intelligence agencies, for security reasons related to the 2004 Olympic Games.

On March 9th 2005 , the Network Planning Manager for Vodafone Greece, Kostas Tsalikidis, was found dead in an apparent suicide. According to several experts questioned by the Greek press, Tsalikidis was a key witness in the investigation of responsibility of the wiretaps.” (more details here).

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