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Supreme Court prosecutor’s threats on wiretapping triggers outcry in legal community

The prosecutor of the Supreme Court Isidoros Dogiakos, threatens the members of the independent Authority for Communication Security and Privacy (ADAE) with prison sentences if they continue the checks on mobile phone providers for the surveillance.

Independent Authority for Communication Security and Privacy (ADAE) no longer has the authority to respond to requests by citizens regarding whether they were put under surveillance for national security reasons,” Dogiakos said in an opinion issued on Tuesday.

According to the Supreme Court prosecutor, jurisdiction for such matters has passed to a three-member panel made up of two prosecutors and the head of the ADAE, which is responsible for examining such requests on a case-by-case basis.

The Supreme Court prosecutor issued his opinion on a request by OTE telecoms, lodged in the wake of a visit to its headquarters by an ADAE team investigating the wiretapping of the telephones of independent MEP Giorgos Kyrtsos and investigative journalist Tasos Telloglou.

prompt was the reaction by the head of ADAE, Christos Rammos who said that “no state body can exercise any form of preventive control or prudential supervision over the authority.”

Rammos said the “the controversial opinion” of the prosecutor “flagrantly violates the independence of the ADAE, which emanates directly from the constitution.”

Opposition political parties were also critical of Dogiakos’ opinion.

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras described Dogiakos’ intervention as “a flagrant violation of the constitution,” and recalled that he submitted a request to ADAE on December 7, 2022, asking for information about the wiretapping of specific citizens with crucial role in public life.

In a statement Tsipras called on Dogiakos to arrest him for asking ADAE information about the wiretapping. “I resign from my MP’s immunity, my office is at Eleftherias square 1.”

PASOK-KINAL said also in a statement that “the Supreme Court prosecutor obstructs the investigation of the ADAE, which as an independent constitutional authority must do its work without interruption.”

Strong reactions to Dogiakos opinion came not only by opposition parties but also by experts on constitutional law.
Akritas .Kaidatzis, Associate professor at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki for constitutional law & constitutional history, in a written statement to newspaper which he posted also on twitter described Dogiakos as a “overt interference” that is also “institutionally shocking.”

“Opinion by the Prosecutor of the Supreme Court constitutes an overt interference in the operation of a constitutionally protected independent authority.

Interfering with an ongoing investigation isn’t just inelegant, it’s institutionally shocking.

The opinion was not given following a query by a judicial or government authority, but by a large private telecommunications company. This is a form of ‘privatization’ of the judicial function. Institutionally inelegant and sad.”

The President of the Center for European Constitutional Law, Xenophon Kontiadis, launched a severe attack on Isidoros Dogiakos with his post on Facebook.

In a post of Facebook, Kontiadis pointed out that the opinion of the prosecutor of the Supreme Court is “legally unsupported,” adding “it is obvious that it aims to castrate the Authority [ADAE].”

More criticism by the legal community of Greece here.

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