News Local Cyprus President and Opposition leader to discuss 'spy van' case on Friday

Cyprus President and Opposition leader to discuss ‘spy van’ case on Friday

President Nicos Anastasiades and Opposition Akel leader Andros Kyprianou will meet on Friday morning to exchange views on the controversial ‘spy van’ case which is an embarrassment for Cyprus.

An official announcement on Tuesday said the presidential palace meeting was the initiative of Anastasiades who also asked the island’s Police chief as well as the Justice Minister to be present.

“The protection of private life and of private data of all citizens is a very sensitive issue for the President and of course he is particularly sensitive when it comes to the communication of political persons,” it said.

“In view of this, the President is closely monitoring the ongoing investigations into recent reports that were made public…and under these circumstances, he has decided to call Friday’s meeting,” it added.

The new development comes hours only after Akel had again slammed the government over the ongoing ‘spy van’ saga following an official announcement that the controversial company was issued an operation licence back in 2011. That is when left-wing Akel was in power.

The party demanded a prompt reply on what type of a licence the Israeli company – Ws Wispear – had received at the time.

Akel had also called on government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou who was behind the ‘totally misleading’ statement to disclose the true facts behind the case which makes headlines worldwide.

“He should first tell us what specific licence that company had received in 2011? For what activities?  What year did the van come to Cyprus? Also, when was the gun licence for a member of that company granted? Under whose watch?,” the Akel leader had told in-cyprus.com

The Opposition had also slammed Justice Minister George Savvides who said on Monday that the government intends to legislate on all issues brought to the surface by the ‘van story’.

“It sounds more like indirect acceptance of responsibility,” Akel had said.

Last week, Ws Wispear denied breaking the law of Cyprus and said it was confident that the allegations against it will be dismissed.

The statement came after police had seized the van, equipped with sophisticated surveillance equipment capable of hacking communications and questioned its Israeli owner.

Police began investigating after Akel asked what the government was doing about activities undertaken in the van, which was showcased in a Forbes video story broadcast several months ago that recently went viral in Cyprus.

Forbes had named the owner of the van as ex-Israeli intelligence officer Tal Dilian, who allegedly heads a Cyprus-registered company that owns the vehicle.

Tal Dilian was described by Forbes as a multi-millionaire former Israeli secret agent, who works privately and provides espionage services to governments, states and various companies.

He had told journalists that the tools he uses are able to monitor cell phones and other electronic devices within a range of 500 metres.

His surveillance system reportedly specializes in the interception of audio conversations, written texts and other data such as WhatsApp messages, Facebook chats, SMS texts, calls, contacts etc.

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