01:13 GMT08 August 2020
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    The suspicious death of Greek top manager Kostas Tsalikidis in 2005 could be a murder linked to a US secret service operation, according to US whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The death of Greek top manager Kostas Tsalikidis in 2005 could be linked to a US secret service operation, The Intercept reported on Tuesday, citing leaked documents by US whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    While providing security measures during the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, US National Security Agency (NSA) supported the Greek government with information security prior to the Games. However, the agency had not stopped its activities and continued wiretapping after the Olympics ended, according to The Intercept.

    In March 2005, a Greek subsidiary of the Vodafon wireless cell phone provider reported that software had been illegally installed in its network allowing the wiretapping of hundreds of the country’s high-ranking officials. Soon after, Tsalikidis, at the time the local company’s network planning manager, was found hanged in his house. The death was recognized by authorities as a suicide.

    The Intercept revealed that despite a decision by the country’s Supreme Court prosecutor, the Tsalikidis family and their lawyer believed that his death was not a suicide but a murder, as he had found the illegal software in the network and reported it.

    An investigation by The Intercept showed that Tsalikidis could have communicated with William George Basil, who worked in the US embassy and had previously been involved with US intelligence services. Tsalikidis, in charge of planning Greece's largest cellular network, could have been recruited by Basil, who was later accused of espionage and eavesdropping by the Greek government.

    NSA mass surveillance practices in the United States and around the world came into focus in 2013, after former agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked nearly 2 million confidential documents.


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