It appears with absolute clarity that the government served the purpose of investigating the Androulakis case, the ND conclusion emphasizes
“Like a paper tower, the opposition’s complaints about the scandal surrounding the legal connection of Mr. Androulakis and the operation of the EYP” refers to the conclusion submitted by ND to the Examining Committee of Parliament investigating the case. According to an informal information, in the conclusion of the ND there are detailed chapters on the process of investigating the cases at all levels that existed, regarding the legal de-privacy of Mr. Androulakis’s phone, on the illegal monitoring software, reports on the de-privacy on SYRIZA-ANEL, as well as proposals for the upgrading of the institutional framework of the EYP.
In particular, in the conclusion filed by the ND to the Commission, for the case of “violation of the confidentiality of the communications of the president of PASOK-KINAL and MEP Mr. Nikos Androulakis by the EYP or by other natural or legal persons, the confirmed attempt to trap the mobile phone with the Predator malware, the illegal use of it in the territory and the investigation into the existence of responsibilities of the Prime Minister Mr. Kyriakos Mitsotakis and any other natural or legal person involved”, the following are stated:
On the procedure
From the work of the Parliamentary Investigative Committee and the statements of all the witnesses, it emerges with absolute clarity that the government served the purpose of investigating the Androulakis case, the institutional shielding of the framework of legal declassifications and the need to strengthen the operation of the EYP.
At government level: As soon as the relevant events emerged, an Act of Legislative Content was issued to immediately strengthen the institutional guarantees in the EYP, with an obligation to listen to the Governor and to restore the need to approve the request for legal declassification by a second prosecutor – a provision that had been repealed in 2018 the SYRIZA-ANEL government.
At the level of the Parliament: Immediately after the complaints of the president of PASOK-KINAL, the government activated the relevant parliamentary procedures and responded immediately to the requests of the parties for the convening of all parliamentary formations. In addition to the rapid ratification of the act of legislative content, where there was also the relevant debate in the plenary session of the Parliament, the prime minister asked the president of the House to convene the competent Committee on Institutions and Transparency and accepted the debate before the order of the day and the formation of the inquiry committee. In the institutions committee, the governors of the EYP since 2012, the former general secretary of the prime minister, the president of the Anti-Corruption Commission and the on-site prosecutor of the EYP testified, while in the inquiry committee, apart from the governors and the president, the deputy governor of the National Authority testified Transparency, the president of PASOK-KINAL, the legal representative of the Krikel company and the legal representative of the Intellexa company (in writing, due to its headquarters abroad).
At the level of justice: The Minister of Justice, in a telephone conversation with the prosecutor of the Supreme Court, called on the judicial function to consider Mr. Androulakis’ appeal as a matter of priority.
On a political level: The objective political responsibility of the Androulakis case was assumed with the resignations of the general secretary of the prime minister and the commander of the EYP.
At the level of management audits: In addition to the extensive audit carried out by the National Transparency Authority on public and private bodies, ADAE received information from the relevant mobile telephony company about the legal de-privacy of Mr. Androulakis’s phone by the EYP in September 2021 and is already conducting extraordinary extensive audits in the EYP and other agencies.
As far as confidentiality is concerned by officers of services bound by confidentiality rules and its invocation has been a field of controversy, it is clear that confidentiality is a subjective right and obligation of every public official who invokes it, and is not subject to the control of the authority where it is given every time the testimony. The statement of the president of ADAE is typical, who stated that he is not bound by the confidentiality of the investigation committee, but he invoked it in his response to the request that Mr. Androulakis had addressed to him regarding his case.
Regarding the legal de-privacy of the Androulakis phone
From the statements of the witnesses and the documents presented, it appears that the declassification of Mr. Androulakis’s mobile phone was absolutely legal, based on a request from the EYP service, signed by officials and the EYP commander, to the competent prosecutor which issued a declassification order. From the testimony of the former commander of the EYP, Panagiotis Kontoleon, it emerged that all the prescribed legal procedure was followed.
As it emerged from the depositions as a whole, under the Constitution and the communications privacy laws, there is absolutely no exemption from depriving any class of citizen. Therefore, based on the Constitution and executive law 2225/1994, it is accepted that the lifting of confidentiality can also be carried out for the MPs or MEPs. After all, the involvement of political figures in acts against national security, knowingly or unknowingly, cannot be ruled out a priori. In addition, the same law describes the elements that must be included in the provision for the removal of confidentiality, both in the case of national security reasons and for the verification of crimes.
There was no evidence that the prime minister, his office and his associates knew about the declassification at any stage. This was assured by the person in charge at the time, Panagiotis Kontoleon, adding that the prime minister, as the political head of the EYP, set the general framework of targeting without taking knowledge of substantive or procedural issues of the service’s operation. After all, this was the standard practice, as confirmed by former commander Theodoros Dravilas. The current commander, Themistoklis Demiris, also testified that he did not give any order to destroy any file.
From the testimony of the president of ADAE, Christos Rammos, it was confirmed that the EYP proceeded to lift the confidentiality of Mr. Androulakis in compliance with the law and under the control of the EYP prosecutor, while for no political person among those who applied to find out whether are monitored, including Mr. Spirtzis, no monitoring by the EYP resulted.
The position of Mr. Androulakis about the political expediency behind his two-month monitoring is negated by the standing tactic of the EYP, as described in their testimony by all the previous administrators who appeared before the Commission of Inquiry, that is, the legal attachments last for two months in every case, no exceptions.
About illegal tracking software
The attempt to trap the mobile phone with the Predator malware, emerged beyond any doubt that it was not carried out, neither by the EYP, nor by any other public body. Especially on the critical issue of the possible use of Predator surveillance software in Greece, the government responded that neither this, nor any other similar, malicious system is used by the State or any of its agencies. It was confirmed that the State has not procured illegal surveillance software, while the examination revealed that the Krikel company had entered into a collaboration and hardware supply contract – not connected to surveillance software, however – with the Ministry of Citizen Protection since 2018, i.e. during the SYRIZA government. and followed by follow-up contracts from EL.AS. The owner and manager of Krikel testified that the company’s contracts with the Greek State, which began in March 2018, do not concern the Predator malware or similar systems, but intercom machines that were used by ELAS executives to communicate with each other. In addition, he stated that he has never cooperated with EYP and that he does not know Mr. Dimitriadis personally.
The manager of the Intellexa company stated that she has never sold products or services to natural persons, government agencies or other entities in Greece, there is no relationship between the Intellexa and Krikel companies and that she has never had contact with Mr. Demetriades and Condoleon.
All administrators stated that EYP never procured malware. The deputy commander of the EAD, Alexandra Rogaku, testified that ELAS and EYP have not entered into contracts that allow the use of Predator-type software. EAD’s investigation into EYP’s contracts was thorough and targeted.
Regarding the lifting of confidentiality on SYRIZA-ANEL
The testimonies of the witnesses completely clarified the landscape and illuminated all aspects, and showed that during the SYRIZA-ANEL government, government officials known to Mr. Tsipras were monitored by the EYP.
The former commander of the EYP Rubatis confessed that during the SYRIZA – ANEL period government officials were monitored. The connection made to Mr. Picciorla’s phone began at the beginning of 2016 until the end of that year, even when he had been appointed as of November 2016, a minister of the government. The then prime minister Alexis Tsipras was informed by the then commander of the EYP, Yiannis Roubatis, about the imminent connection to Mr. Pitsiorlas’ phone and approved the action. His predecessor, Th. Dravilas, expressed his anger at those who claimed that during his tenure, from July 2012 to January 2015, there was monitoring of Mr. Saia and Picciorla. The president of PASOK-KINAL downplayed Rubati’s revelations regarding the monitoring of Piciorla, facts he diligently avoided mentioning, despite the questions asked by the committee members.
Proposals for upgrading the institutional framework
Serving the need to make the operation of the EYP more transparent, without jeopardizing its efficiency and the critical mission it has to perform in the defense of our national rights, we submit a series of proposals that provide for:
– Strengthening the framework of legal declassification for political figures. In addition to the approval of any legal declassification by a second prosecutor, the activation of an additional filter, rather by a political figure, should be evaluated. The circle of politicians includes members of the government and deputy ministers, MPs, MEPs, general/special secretaries, as well as presidents/secretaries of political parties.
– Changes within EYP to strengthen internal control, transparency, extroversion and training of its human resources.
– Prohibition of the sale of surveillance software to individuals and the establishment of a separate provision that will prohibit and punish the sale (sale and purchase) of surveillance software to individuals.
– Interventions in the context of the protection of personal data, organizational strengthening of the FSA to fulfill its constitutional role, creation of a cyber security body as a coordinating mechanism, re-evaluation of the institutional framework of notification to the subject, regarding the imposition of the restrictive measure of the removal of confidentiality, investment to protect the country’s critical infrastructure from security threats and invest recovery fund resources in this direction.
– Awareness of citizens and agencies. In this context, it is recommended that the competent structures of the state communicate with citizens and agencies regarding recommendations for the use of technological devices and applications, as well as the establishment of digital security seminars at all levels of formal education.
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