West News Wire: In the midst of a scandal over the alleged use of surveillance spyware, the government of Greece revealed that the director of its intelligence service had resigned.

The office of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis released a statement on Friday stating that Panagiotis Kontoleon, the head of the EYP, had offered his resignation “after incorrect activities uncovered via legitimate wiretapping proceedings.” It also stated that Mitsotakis accepted the resignation.

The announcement came a week after Nikos Androulakis, the leader of the opposition PASOK party, complained to the supreme court about “attempted” Predator malware snooping on his mobile phone.

Androulakis, who is also an MEP, told reporters as he departed, “A few days ago I was informed by the European Parliament that there was an effort to bug my mobile phone with Predator surveillance software.”

The European Parliament set up a special service for MEPs to check their phones for illegal surveillance software following hacks using spyware similar to Predator called Pegasus.

The software can infiltrate mobile phones to extract data or activate a camera or microphone to spy on their owners.

Androulakis used the service for “a precautionary check of his phone on June 28, 2022” and “from the first check, a suspicious link related to the Predator surveillance tool was detected”, PASOK said in a statement.

Meanwhile, two legislators who spoke to the Reuters news agency on condition of anonymity earlier this week said Kontoleon had admitted during a parliamentary committee on July 29 that his service had spied on Thanasis Koukakis, a financial journalist who works for media network CNN Greece.

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The government says Greek authorities do not use the spyware allegedly deployed in the hacking of Koukakis and do not do business with companies selling it.

In April, a Greek prosecutor began an investigation into an allegation by Koukakis that his smartphone had been infected by surveillance software.


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