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Two Strange Deaths in European Wiretapping Scandal
Bove was a master at detecting hidden phone networks. Recently, at the direction of Milan prosecutors, he'd used mobile phone records to trace how a "Special Removal Unit" composed of CIA and SISMI (the Italian CIA) agents abducted Abu Omar, an Egyptian cleric, and flew him to Cairo where he was tortured. The Omar kidnapping and the alleged involvement of 26 CIA agents, whom prosecutors seek to arrest and extradite, electrified Italian media. U.S. media noted the story, then dropped it....
The first Italian press reports after Bove's death said the 42-year-old had committed suicide. Bove, according to unnamed sources, was depressed about his imminent indictment by Milan prosecutors. But prosecutors immediately, and uncharacteristically, set the record straight: Bove was not a target; in fact, he was prosecutors' chief source. Bove, prosecutors said, was helping them investigate his own bosses, who were orchestrating an illegal wiretapping bureau and the destruction of incriminating digital evidence. One Telecom executive had already been forced out when he was caught conducting these illicit operations, as well as selling intercepted information to a business intelligence firm.
About 16 months earlier, in March of 2005, Costas Tsalikidis, a 38-year-old software engineer for Vodaphone in Greece had just discovered a highly sophisticated bug embedded in the company's mobile network. The spyware eavesdropped on the prime minister's and other top officials' cell phone calls; it even monitored the car phone of Greece's secret service chief. Others bugged included civil rights activists, the head of Greece's "Stop the War" coalition, journalists and Arab businessmen based in Athens. All the wiretapping began about two months before the Olympics were hosted by Greece in August 2004, according to a subsequent investigation by the Greek authorities.
Gunmen kill Russia's crime-fighting banker
· Anti-corruption official closed 44 banks this year
· Assassination 'a challenge to entire government'
Michael Mainville in Moscow
Friday September 15, 2006
The official in charge of cleaning up Russia's crime-ridden banking system died yesterday after being ambushed by gunmen who shot him in the head and chest.
The central bank's first deputy chairman, Andrei Kozlov, 41, had shut down dozens of banks accused of money laundering and other crimes.
Russian media reported that two gunmen had lain in wait for him last night outside a Moscow sports arena where central bank employees were playing football. They opened fire when he emerged, killing his bodyguard and leaving him badly wounded. He underwent emergency surgery but died in the early hours.
Contract killings of prominent figures, though not as common as in the 1990s, still occur frequently in Russia and officials said they had little doubt Mr Kozlov's murder was connected with his work.
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“We’re still looking for clear answers as to who is responsible for the murder of an American citizen who was doing his job.”