MEPs in Cyprus on Predator spying mission
On Monday, the European Parliament revealed that a delegation of MEPs will investigate the development and usage of spyware in the member nations of Cyprus and Greece this week.
The Committee of Inquiry on Pegasus and Other Spyware (Pega) of the European Parliament announced in a press release that on Tuesday and Wednesday, its delegation will meet with Energy Minister Natasa Pilides as well as government officials, members of the House of Representatives, legal experts, NGO representatives, and journalists.
MEPs will next continue to Greece (November 2–4) to speak with members of the Hellenic Parliament, including those who served on the wiretapping investigation committee, Greece's Minister of State Giorgos Gerapetritis, government officials, NGOs, journalists, and other stakeholders.
The visit will conclude on Friday, November 4, with a press conference at the European Parliament Liaison Office in Athens. The news conference will be aired live online.
Predator malware, purportedly employed against opposition politicians and journalists in Greece, is owned by a former Cyprus-incorporated business.
In March, the European Parliament established a special committee to investigate the use of spyware and any possible connection between Cyprus and the Greek eavesdropping scandal.
This reignited charges and counterclaims in Cyprus regarding the shadowy "black surveillance van," with the deputy attorney general rejecting a cover-up in the 2019 case in August.
Politicians from the opposition claimed that charges had been dropped against Israeli defendants whose company was at the centre of the spy van controversy, with further allegations that the corporation had tested its spyware on members of the public.
According to a December 2021 report by Citizen Lab, Cytrox produced the Predator.
The claim cited a 2019 Forbes article that stated "Cytrox was'saved' by Tal Dilian, a former commander of Israel Defense Forces Unit 81, whose company WiSpear (which appears to have been renamed Passitora Ltd) is headquartered in Limassol, Cyprus and apparently bought Cytrox in 2018."
The same story states that Dilian is also the founder and CEO of Intellexa.
"Cytrox is a member of the so-called 'Intellexa alliance,' which developed in 2019 as a marketing label for a variety of mercenary surveillance suppliers. Nexa Technologies (previously Amesys), WiSpear/Passitora Ltd., Cytrox, and Senpai..."
Citizen Lab added: "Originally situated in Cyprus, a new investigation shows that Intellexa now operates from Greece, which is also identified as its creator Dilian's LinkedIn location. The alliance has a corporate presence not only in Greece (Intellexa SA) but also in Ireland (Intellexa Limited), according to a preliminary examination of corporate registry documents.
Dilian is the same guy implicated in the'spy van' incident that occurred in Cyprus in late 2019. In connection with the incident, he and two others were accused, but the attorney general ultimately withdrew the charges.
Jeroen Lenaers, Sophie in 't Veld, Sylvie Guillaume, Juan Ignacio Zoido Alvarez, Elisavet Vozemberg-Vrionidi, Thijs Reuten, Róa Thun, Saskia Bricmont, Stelios Kouloglou, Laura Ferrara, and Lidia Pereira are the participating MEPs.
By fLEXI tEAM