Greek-Cypriot spies behind largest document theft in UN history, report claims

Alexander Downer

Alexander Downer

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Agents of the Greek-Cypriot government were behind the largest document theft in the history of the United Nations, according to reports in the Cypriot and Turkish press. In 2009, Greek-Cypriot newspaper Fileleftheros published extracts of what the paper claimed was a treasure trove of 6,500 UN documents containing sensitive information on the organization’s negotiations with Turkish-Cypriot leaders. The negotiations concerned ongoing talks over a possible reunification of the island, which has been divided for decades between the Greek-majority southern part, and the predominantly Turkish northern part. According to the newspaper’s New York correspondent, the documents were leaked by a source inside the UN. But Cypriot and Turkish media now claim that an internal UN report has concluded that the documents were stolen by Greek-Cypriot intelligence agents, who subsequently leaked some of it to the Greek-Cypriot press. The operation was reportedly headed by a Cyprus Intelligence Service (CIS) agent who befriended Sonja Bachmann, senior aide to Alexander Downer, former Australian Foreign Minister, senior advisor to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Mon, and the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Cyprus negotiations. The agent allegedly managed to acquire Bachmann’s email login information, which allowed a CIS team to access Downer’s personal email several times while he was away on UN business. The alleged operation may have been significant in terms of logistics, and may have involved at least one employee of the New York hotel where Bachmann was staying. The latter is said to have “vanished after the secret documents were published in the Greek Cypriot press”. According to the UN report, the leak of the documents was aimed at subverting the mediating role of the former Australian Foreign Minister, whom Nicosia sees as being too closely aligned with the Turkish-Cypriot side.

[Research credit to Strategy Report]

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

One Response to Greek-Cypriot spies behind largest document theft in UN history, report claims

  1. Velisarios says:

    “the island, which has been divided for decades between the Greek-majority southern part, and the predominantly Turkish northern part.”

    That’s one unfortunate expression, Mr Fitsanakis…

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