Cyprus – All the news: Cyprus is “shattered” by the monitoring scandal in Greece – From the spy van, to the spikes in the purchase of surveillance systems by the parties and the intervention of the Commission
The surveillance scandal that broke out in Greece, due to his connection with the Israeli Tal Dilian, who was the main defendant in the case of the infamous “spy van”, which has occupied Cyprus in recent years, brought intense turmoil in the Cypriot political scene.
Already in the last 24 hours, Cypriot MEPs began to leave suspicions about the possible purchase of surveillance systems either by parties or by the government, with the Government Representative rejecting such a thing and the Commission intervening by asking the national authorities of the member states to thoroughly examine cases in order to restore the trust of the citizens.
Already the cases with the monitoring scandals have been put under the “microscope” of a competent special investigation committee, of which the AKEL MEP, George Georgiou, is the vice-president.
In his statements about the days to the Cyprus Times, he had spoken of “loss of surveillance in Cyprus”, while he sent a series of questions to the Minister of Justice, Stefi Drakou, to clarify whether it has been bought by the Government or other State Services. the infamous Pegasus or other related tracking systems.
Responding to Mr. Georgiou’s reports, Drakou in today’s statement cited the statements she made on July 14, stating, among other things, that “it was decided to upgrade the system (of turning off mobile phones) so that the turning off also covers frequencies that are not are in the implementation stage. of the original contract. A contract has already been signed and is in the process of being implemented and will be completed next month.”
He also clarified that all the actions taken following an opinion from the General Prosecutor’s Office and emphasized that “posts that lead me to promote the monitoring of communication content instead of disabling or tracking it, do not correspond to reality at all.”
At the same time, the Minister explained that “in the reservations expressed by the management of the prisons in its letter to me, the opinion of the legal service was requested and received, which includes the opinion of the Commissioner for Personal Data Protection, as well as the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works as the contracting authority . authority responsible for the installation of the system”.
“On the basis of the above actions, the necessary system will be installed that will enable the prison management to effectively enforce the law and the prison regulations, regarding the use of mobile phones within the prison premises”, underlined the lady Dragon. .
“Rumors rage that parties bought systems”, says Papadakis
At the same time, in yesterday’s press conference delivered by the Cypriot MEP, Dimitris Papadakis, he left hints for the purchase or use of surveillance systems by parties, warning at the same time that “if the Cypriot authorities are found to be incompetent, the political responsibilities that are irrevocable”.
Mr. Papadakis stated, among other things, that “unfortunately, once again, Cyprus is related to the scandal in question as the specific company that used the Predator software is based in Cyprus and is directly related to the spy van , which was detected in our country, a few years ago”.
“In Greece we had resignations, investigations were ordered by the Prosecutor, at the highest level, while the Government and the Opposition agreed on the establishment of a special commission of inquiry”completed.
“Unfortunately,” he continued, “in Cyprus, it seems that this case also went down the drain”. Within frameworks of obfuscation, concealment and opacity. A matter concerning the protection of the human and individual rights of citizens, violation of the Constitution and the rules of the rule of law, violation of the human rights convention.”
He also pointed out that “the stormy events in Greece that seem to be connected to the case of the van in Cyprus, require a new substantial and complete investigation, far from cover-up efforts”.
The Government rejects any spikes
For its part, the government rejects any leads they leave for surveillance, attributing the reports made to “unsubstantiated populism”.
Specifically, the Government Spokesman, Marios Pelekanos, responding to AKEL’s criticisms and also to what was mentioned by MEP Dimitris Papadakis, states that: “The subject of surveillance came back to the fore on the occasion of the revelations in Greece and the connection of Cyprus with the Israeli Tal Dilian, who was the main accused in the case of the black van. The interconnection of cases, as he mentions, which are unrelated to each other, is nothing more than an attempt at political exploitation, with which it is sought to connect our country with the phenomena that occur outside the Republic of Cyprus”.
He emphasized that “in Cyprus there is a sound legal framework for the protection of private life and the inviolability of citizens’ communications, which, in cooperation with the House of Representatives, we are constantly strengthening and upgrading”.
Also, the Commander of the KYP continuously informs the leaders of the political parties about the actions and objectives of the State Intelligence Service which focus exclusively on national security issues, in the fight against terrorism and organized crime.
He clarified at the same time how “never during the 9-year rule of President Anastasiades was the monitoring of any political figure, political parties, journalists, mass media and law-abiding citizens allowed or tolerated, even indirectly.”
Of course, the whole issue could not go unnoticed by the Commission, with the representative for internal affairs, Anita Hipper, stressing that the European Commission expects the national authorities of the member states to examine thorough cases in order to restore trust the citizens.
He also pointed out that “Our position is clear. Any attempt by national security services to illegally access data of citizens, including journalists and political opponents, if confirmed, is unacceptable.”
“Member states are responsible for protecting their national security and must supervise and control their security services to ensure that they fully respect fundamental rights. This is very important to ensure the protection of personal data and the safety of journalists and the freedom of expression”, underlined Mrs. Hipper, while at the same time indicating that the Commission is in contact with all member states on this issue.