Thodoris Chondrogiannos 20 • 02 • 2023

National Intelligence Service: Surveillance of six senior politicians and military officials

Thodoris Chondrogiannos
National Intelligence Service: Surveillance of six senior politicians and military officials
20 • 02 • 2023

Following an investigation by the independent authority for data privacy, it was found that six senior government and armed forces officials have had their communications privacy lifted. The surveillance by the National Intelligence Service (EYP) of public officials, politicians and military officers is illegal and raises major issues for national security, the rule of law and respect for the Constitution.

During the parliamentary session of 25 January 2023, the leader of the opposition, Alexis Tsipras, revealed that the National Intelligence Service (EYP) had placed under surveillance six senior political and military officials with senior positions in the government and the armed forces. The privacy of communications had been lifted, he said, from Labour Minister Kostis Hatzidakis, Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff, General Konstantinos Floros, Chief of the Hellenic Army General Staff. Lt. Gen. Charalambos Lalousis, former National Security Advisor Alexandros Diakopoulos, the head of the General Directorate of Armaments Aristides Alexopoulos, as well as the latter’s predecessor in the same position, Theodoros Lagios.

Venizelos has also previously argued that the surveillance of MPs and MEPs is illegal; these revelations follow confirmation that leader of opposition party PASOK and MEP Nikos Androulakis was also monitored by the intelligence services.

The national intelligence service, EYP, was brought under the direct supervision of the Prime Minister’s office after New Democracy won the 2019 elections. The Prime Minister’s nephew, Gregory Dimitriadis, was placed as the Prime Minister’s Secretary General and the political head of the National Intelligence Service.

Where is the problem with the rule of law?

Although Article 19 of the Constitution guarantees the absolute inviolability of the confidentiality of communications, the National Intelligence Service (NIS) under the supervision of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis illegally monitored senior public officials of the government and the armed forces, raising serious issues of national security and the rule of law.

Thodoris Chondrogiannos
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