LONDON, June 28 A private security team was
hired to follow and photograph a Reuters special correspondent
who has written a series of articles exposing mismanagement in
Stephen Grey, who was in Athens last week for further
reporting, was followed to a meeting at a building in the city
on June 20.
The unidentified watcher waited for an hour and a half until
Grey emerged. He then followed Grey to the Reuters office in
Syntagma Square in the city centre, where the watcher was joined
by a second man who arrived on a motorbike.
The two men kept the office under observation for more than
an hour, Reuters security staff said.
That evening, Grey held a meeting in the garden of a hotel
with two people, one of whom was Tassos Telloglou, a Greek
As they were talking, a man entered the hotel, made his way
to the rear and attempted to take a picture of Grey and his
companions through a window. Telloglou noticed the photographer
and chased him through the hotel and foyer. When Telloglou
caught up with him, the man said he had been paid to track Grey.
He provided the name of an unlicensed private security firm
which, he said, had organised the work and was paying him 100
euros per day. It was not clear who had commissioned the
Grey and Telloglou reported the incident to Greek police.
The man who tailed Grey at the hotel also said his firm was
involved in taking photographs of Grey, Telloglou and Nikolas
Leontopoulos - a freelance journalist working for Reuters on the
investigation into banks - when they had previously met at a
"You have no idea how much we've been doing," the man told
Telloglou. The photographs from the hospital were passed to
This year, Reuters has published investigations led by Grey
into two banks in Greece - Proton and Piraeus
- and Marfin Popular Bank in Cyprus, which has a major
branch in Greece. Marfin has now been renamed Cyprus Popular
Piraeus, one of Greece's biggest banks, has filed a lawsuit
against Reuters, claiming 50 million euros ($62 million) in
damages after Reuters published a report about a series of
property deals between the bank and companies run by the family
of its executive chairman.
Asked whether it had commissioned any surveillance of Grey,
a spokesman for Piraeus said the bank "considers the question
and its implication insulting and possibly defamatory and, given
that we are already engaged in formal legal proceedings against
Thomson Reuters, declines to comment further."
Spokesmen for the former management of Marfin and for the
former management of Proton, both of which were the focus of
stories, denied any involvement in the surveillance.
(Writing By Richard Woods; Editing by Simon Robinson and