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EU Prosecutor probes Greek “Predatorgate”

The European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) has launched an investigation into the use of illegal Predator spyware in a wiretapping scandal that has shaken Greek politics, EURACTIV has learnt in an exclusive story..

Several sources confirmed to EURACTIV that upon the request of the European Parliament’s PEGA Committee, the inquiry committee investigating the use of illegal spyware across the bloc, the EPPO has launched an investigation into several aspects of the scandal.

The PEGA Committee inquiry has focused on the illegal export of Predator spyware from Greece to countries in Asia, Africa and elsewhere, as well as allegations that the companies involved in the so-called Predatorgate were engaged in tax evasion.

Contacted by EURACTIV, an EPPO spokesperson refused to confirm or deny that there is an ongoing investigation.

“As a general rule, we do not comment on ongoing investigations, nor do we publicly confirm which cases we are working on. This is so as not to endanger the ongoing procedures and their outcome,” the spokesperson told EURACTIV.

“Whenever we can say something about any of our investigations, we will do so proactively,” the spokesperson added.

Granting export licences

Two different sources told EURACTIV that the EU prosecutor has, in recent weeks, received specific information from Greek journalists investigating the wiretapping scandal.

“The persons who testified to the prosecutors submitted evidence proving that the administration of (Prime Minister) Kyriakos Mitsotakis facilitated the proliferation of Intellexa’s Predator spyware to countries such as Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Madagascar, and Bangladesh by granting export licences through the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” one source close to the matter said.

The Greek government, in the beginning, denied any involvement.

But a few weeks later, government spokesperson Yannis Oikonomou admitted that the foreign ministry granted these licences and said that an investigation was launched on whether all the prescribed procedures were correctly followed.

The issue of granting export licences was first reported by investigative outlet Inside Story and the New York Times, prompting the European Commission to demand an explanation.

However, Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis revealed last week that the Greek authorities have not replied to a request for information sent on 14 February.

The conservative Greek government has also failed to provide answers to the PEGA Committee on the issue.

On a legal level, the EU prosecutor is examining whether the Greek government violated Regulation (EU) 2021/821 for the so-called “dual-use” products (i.e. products that require a special export licence because they can also be used in order to cause harm) to favour the Greek company Intellexa. [full story: euractiv.com ]

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