Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis admitted on Wednesday that the Intellexa’s Predator spyware was exported from Greece to Sudan. It is the firs time an official admits such an export and thus in time when a civil war takes place in the central African country and 150 Greeks are trapped in Khartoum and other areas of Sudan along with hundreds of other European citizens.
Speaking to Real FM, Varvitsiotis said “it looks as if Greece expoerted the Predator to Sudan< stressing, however, that this export did not affect the outcome of the ongoing civil war in the country, "The export license given to Predator and Sudan has nothing to do with the civil war. The civil war was not caused by this," the Minister said. Obviously understanding his mistake, he claimed that all the knowledge he has comes from press reports. "Because I am not competent to sign such decisions, from what has already been seen in the press it seems that there has been an export to Sudan," he said. What is interesting is that there has been no statement or press release by the Foreign Ministry on Varvitsiotis' statements, so far. According to reports by the New York Times last year, the spyware was secretly sent to the paramilitary forces of RSF that are now attempting a violent coup d’etat.
Already in the middle of November 2022, the responsible deputy foreign minister for Economic Diplomacy, Costas Fragogiannis, had ordered an internal investigation to clarify whether the export licenses for the products of Intellexa S.A. were legal and if national and European software export rules were followed.
The person responsible for the export licenses was the then general secretary Giannis Smyrlis, who almost immediately after the NYT reports made sure to resign in order to deal with the pre-election campaign of the ND, as he said.
The results of the investigation were supposed to be ready before Christmas, but Easter has also passed and no results have been published.
It should be noted that main opposition SYRIZA has requested to make public the conclusion of the relevant investigation after the disclosure of its export to African states, such as Madagascar and Sudan.
Following Varvitsiotis’ statements on Wednesday, SYRIZA issued a statement describing them as “a gaffe” and noting that two days ago, when the main opposition party asked whether Mitsotakis government gave export permit of Predator to Sudan, the government spokesman replied that “SYRIZα cites conspiracy theories.”
Έστειλε η κυβέρνηση της ΝΔ το Predator στο Σουδάν; Ενέπλεξε, έστω έμμεσα, την Ελλάδα στον εμφύλιο στη χώρα;
Θυμίζω ότι, κατά την Καθημερινή, πέρα από τη Μαδαγασκάρη (όπου την αποστολή του παράνομου λογισμικού επιβεβαίωσε το ΥΠΕΞ επισήμως στους New York Times), την ίδια περίοδο…
— George Katrougalos (@gkatr) April 16, 2023
Former Alternate FM under SYRIZA government, Giorgos Katrougalos, citing reports of daily kathimerini recalled in a tweet that Predator was exported to eastern Sudan in November 2021 and that Israeli daily Haaretz had warned that “the spyware in the hands of RSF would tip the balance of power in favor of a rogue former militia, bringing Sudan one step closer to open confrontation with the country’s armed forces and increasing the risk of a civil war.”
Note that the relevant European Parliament committee asked from European Commission to reveal if Greece exported the Predator spyware to #Sudan.
Two months ago the @EU_Commission asked GR🇬🇷 & CY🇨🇾 about the export of #Predator spyware to Sudan. In view of events in Sudan, can @VDombrovskis confirm if any clarification has been received by now? If not, what action will be taken to ensure the Dual Use Regulation is upheld? pic.twitter.com/lWM1k7Nwh7
— Sophie in 't Veld (@SophieintVeld) April 17, 2023