In Brief

Jean-Claude Juncker dragged into Luxembourg spy scandal

Judge investigates whether officials tampered with evidence to hide phone-tapping link

Luxembourg is investigating whether officials working for Jean-Claude Juncker tampered with evidence to hide his role in a phone-tapping spy scandal, The Times reports.

“Last Monday Eric Schammo, an investigating judge, began an inquiry into whether officials working for Mr Juncker falsified key evidence for a parliamentary and then judicial investigation in 2012 and 2013,” the paper says.

The criminal investigation comes at a critical time for Juncker, who is now president of the European Commission  and a key Brexit negotiator.

The spy scandal reads like a James Bond thriller, with microphones hidden in wristwatches, liaisons with MI6, illegal wiretaps, 13,000 secret files and a fake counter-terror operation set up to help a Russian oligarch pay $10m to a Spanish spy.

Juncker was Luxembourg’s prime minister during the “lurid” affair, overseeing the Serl spy service. 

While the politician has not accepted blame nor responsibility for wrongdoing, Serl reported to his office and it led to his resignation in 2013, France 24 reported at the time. 

Luxembourg's judge-led investigation will examine claims Juncker gave then Serl director Marco Mille permission to intercept the calls of one of the agency's sources, who claimed to have a recording of a conversation between the prime minister and Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, says The Times.

According to newspaper reports, Mille, who is now on trial for illegal phone-tapping, claims he recorded a conversation on his wristwatch that indicates Juncker approved of the activitiy. He also says that a transcript of the conversation was given to a Luxembourg parliamentary committee in 2012, but that it omitted information indicating Juncker was aware of the intercepts.

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