Wiretapping/surveillance: “Nothing illegal, it’s all in your imagination, these things happen in other countries…”
Article by Giorgos Georgiou AKEL MEP and Vice-Chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee of Inquiry into the use of the Pegasus software and similar spying and surveillance software
Sunday 6 November 2022, “Haravgi” newspaper
This is how the President of the Republic dismissed PEGASUS. He was, of course, telling the Europeans the same thing about the golden – for himself and his Ministers – passports scheme.
An entire mission of the European Parliament came to investigate the wiretapping/surveillance scandal which involves Cyprus and was treated with scorn by the government ruling forces.
“Everything will come to light and be revealed,” the government boasted. “We have already given convincing answers,” it said. And what did they say? That there was no surveillance and wiretapping, that the Republic of Cyprus does not possess such software, that licenses to export surveillance software were never granted, that Cyprus has an adequate supervisory control mechanism and so on…
How many lies in a just few words…
The black spy van entered the island as a…supposed weather station and evolved into a monitoring cell for millions of mobile phone users. Slick handlings, destruction and concealment of evidence and a mock trial led to a cover-up of the whole case. Furthermore, we also have the questions/doubts surrounding the Assistant Attorney General and his professional relationship with the Israeli agent Mr. Isaac Avni, partner of the Israeli Mr. Tal Dillian, owner of the black spy van.
Chris Triantafyllides, a leading official of the ruling DISY party, wonders and is protesting: “The case of the surveillance of Greek MEP Androulakis is connected to Cyprus, the spy van and the owner of the guilty company Dillian. The Attorney General has dropped the charges against him. Why? So that he wouldn’t say who told him who to monitor here in Cyprus?”
If there was the slightest bit of candor here, the case could have ended, or rather begun.
Other than that, the Attorney General considers the black spy van case closed and is wondering: “Why all the fuss about the Elias Stefanou report’s conclusion?” It’s quite simple, Mr. Savvides. Because many people believe that there are truths there that have been concealed… By invoking various legalistic pretexts you keep the report guarded as a sealed secret. The only one who invokes it is DISY President Averof Neofytou. Has he seen this report illegally?
The whole world knows about the Cyprus scandal. The international mass media, Amnesty International, Citizen’s Lab of Toronto, the Greek media and political parties, who all say that “Cyprus is a hotbed for surveillance software companies, such software is being exported, the Cypriot authorities have examined and issued licenses to the NSO Group and its satellites, the surveillance virus was transferred from Cyprus to Greece”, but the government evades the whole issue, despite the fact that the companies themselves admit it in their repeated reports. Even when the Cypriot police have been stating this since 2016 on Mr. Avni’s NCIS. Even when there are invoices for the sale of these products.
The President of PEGASUS himself, coming from the right-wing European People’s Party in the European Parliament, points out the inconsistency noted between what the NSO Group admits and what the Republic of Cyprus says. Nor was he convinced by the Attorney General’s explanation about the black spy van. He will cross-check them with other information, he stated.
The government ruling forces even go so far as to renounce their personal friendships. “I met Dillian by chance,” says Averof Neofytou. Well Mr. President of DISY, where did he get the courage, or audacity, to ask you for providing facilitations?
The same goes for Mr. Sinka, a leading official of the ruling DISY party until the day before yesterday, even though the Greek media accuse him of being a mediator in the transfer of the notorious Dillian-Avni ‘Intellexa’ to Greece, whose Predator was used to monitor journalists, MP’s, political parties and their leaders.
The moral conclusion: you are and remain incurable. You are again exposing the state, humiliating institutions, undermining democracy, violating our privacy and invading our personal data.
In addition, you possess software and monitor us, and you offer licences to export these evil tools to your friends.
Is there any mercy, finally, with you?
Perhaps only if you leave power… In one DISY version or another…