Greek Police Retires Seven Officers Over Surveillance Scandal

Riot police officers in Thessaloniki, Greece. Photo: EPA-EFE/DIMITRIS TOSIDIS

According to the Greek media outlet Kathimerini, the seven persons, two lieutenant generals and five major generals, served in critical positions such as the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit and the Attica Security department, the Internal Affairs Service and the Police Intelligence Division.

Kathimerini named the seven officers, two of whom, Ilias Kossyvakis and Nikos Tsetsikas, were among the people most connected to the wiretapping scandal.

However, the police press release has mentioned the removal of only two people. The changes in police ranks came on the night of Wednesday January 25.

Earlier on Wednesday, main opposition leader Alexis Tsipras filed a motion of no confidence in parliament against the government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, accusing him of overall responsibility for the surveillance scandal.

Police told BIRN that the removal of the persons had been discussed for some time and was not related to the motion of no confidence.

The government remains in the eye of the storm over accusations of spying on politicians, journalists, and military officers with the use of the illegal software Predator.

Last summer when Thanasis Koukakis, a well-known financial journalist, reported that his cell phone had been tapped with Israeli-made Predator spyware.

Things escalated after Nikos Androulakis, the leader of the opposition PASOK-KINAL party and a member of the European Parliament, also revealed that he was targeted with Predator spyware.

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