News Local There is no oversight on Intelligence Service surveillances, Akel MP says

There is no oversight on Intelligence Service surveillances, Akel MP says

There is no oversight on the telephone surveillances of the Cyprus Intelligence Service (KYP), Akel MP Aristos Damianou said in a House Legal Affairs Committee session yesterday.

He added that a bill providing for the creation of a trilateral committee meant to oversee KYP passed three years ago, but the committee has not been formed yet.

According to the bill, the committee should have been established with the suggestion of the President and approved by the Cabinet. It will will be responsible for overseeing KYP operations that might infringe human rights.

The House Legal Affairs Committee yesterday discussed amendments on the bill to increase penalties for leaking telephone conversations acquired via surveillance and to set limits on how long conversation records are be kept, among others.

Green Party MP Giorgos Perdikis proposed to increase the fines for leaking phone conversations from five years in prison to ten years and/or a €100,000 fine.

He also suggested to set a limit of five years for keeping records with telephone conversations, with a clause of extending it for another five years. He said that currently KYP stores telephone conversations for an indefinite number of years.

Perdikis’ third amendment proposes to set limits on how many devices of a suspect can KYP place under surveillance. He said that the Service should only surveil the one the suspect uses for professional reasons.

Damianou said that it is unacceptable to think about furthering the scope of telephone surveillance, when the committee does not exist.

The amended bill will be submitted to Plenary for approval. According to Phileleftheros, Akel is expected to reject it.

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