Greek intelligence chief: no participation in wiretaps scandal

Greece's secret service chief denied Monday that his agency had any illegal involvement in a wiretapping scandal that targeted Prime Minister Costas Caramanlis and other senior officials. The illegal surveillance targeted Caramanlis and senior state security officials from just before the August 2004 Olympic Games until March 2005. Software installed for authorized wiretaps was hacked to route call information to hard-to-trace cell phones using top-up payment plans.

"There is nothing in the actions of the National Intelligence Agency that could be considered in breach of the Constitution and the law," Ioannis Korandis told reporters. Korandis said the agency was fully cooperating with an investigation, but did not comment on the secret service's role in authorized wiretaps.

Korandis was speaking after a meeting with the head of Greece's telecoms privacy committee, which is probing the illegal wiretaps. On Sunday, the weekly To Thema newspaper named six NIS employees who, in cooperation with a U.S. embassy official in Athens, were allegedly involved in the eavesdropping which targeted mobile phones used by telecoms giant Vodafone customers.

Korandis described the report as "fiction," admitted some of the names published were NIS employees and said he would sue the newspaper. The head of the privacy watchdog, Andreas Lambrinopoulos, he had "good cooperation" with the agency. "I am not aware of any illegal NIS activities," he said, reports the AP.

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