Wiretapping Found at French, German EU Offices

Wed March 19, 2003 06:57 AM ET
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Telephone tapping systems have been found at offices used by France and Germany in the building where European Union leaders are due to hold a summit from Thursday, an EU spokesman said on Wednesday.
He said other delegations were also affected at the EU Council Justus Lipsius building and it was not known who was behind the espionage.
"I can confirm that in the course of regular inspections, interception devices have been found...which do not only affect France and Germany," Dominique-Georges Marro, head of the EU Council press service, told reporters.
The French newspaper Le Figaro accused the United States of being behind the wiretapping, but Marro said: "We do not know who is behind it. I don't know who was on the other end of the line."
Asked whether the bugging only affected France and Germany, he said: "It is a bit more vast, but it's not a deluge."
Another Council official said the wiretapping was detected some time ago during a routine sweep by the EU's security service of suites used by national leaders, ministers and senior officials when they attend EU meetings in Brussels.
The Belgian security authorities have not been involved, the official said.