Occhionero denies 'espionage' against politicians

Engineer at centre of alleged spying case to be questioned

(ANSA) - Rome, January 11 - A lawyer representing Giulio Occhionero, an engineer at the centre of a case of alleged spying on politicians and other important Italian figures and institutions, said his client had denied being involved in espionage. "My client denies having carried out activities of espionage.
    He had servers abroad for work," said lawyer Stefano Parretta as he entered Rome's Regina Coeli prison, where Occhionero is set to be questioned by a preliminary investigations judge (GIP) after being arrested along with his sister on Tuesday. "Today he will answer the GIP's questions. He has things to clarify. "This case is still yet to be settled and he denies having done anything wrong". Ex-premiers Matteo Renzi and Mario Monti and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi are among the top figures allegedly spied on by the pair. The siblings allegedly stored the sensitive data on servers seized in the United States by the FBI, the sources said. They allegedly had a database containing 18,327 usernames, 1,793 of them accompanied by a password, and divided into 122 categories tagged 'Nick' indicating the target category (politics, business, etc.) or their initials, police said Tuesday. There were alleged two attempts to violate the email of Renzi, who quit as premier last month after his flagship Constitutional reform was rejected in a referendum, in June 2016, according to the warrant for arrest of the Occhionero siblings. Computers used by people working for Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, were compromised as part of the hacking too. The computers were allegedly hacked with a malware called 'Eyepyramid'.