The Israeli prosecutor’s office has launched an investigation into the police. That happens after reports that agents have illegally used the controversial spy software Pegasus.
The financial daily Calcalist wrote that the Israeli police would have used Pegasus to follow, among other things, leaders of anti-government protests. Sometimes that happened without the required court orders. The reports already led to the Israeli parliament asking the police leadership for explanations.
Public Prosecutor Avichai Mandelblit writes in a letter to the police leadership that an initial investigation has not revealed evidence of systematic abuse of Pegasus by the police.
Police Chief Kobi Shabtai said an internal investigation has not yet revealed any abuse. He said he fully cooperated with the investigation.
“If it turns out that there are specific cases that deviate from the procedures, we will take action to fix and improve that. For this, all groups will work together and give full openness.”
The spy software Pegasus is made by the Israeli company NSO Group. Since November last year, the company has been blacklisted by the US government. The work of NSO, according to the United States, would endanger national security.
Last year, investigative journalists from the French collective Forbidden Stories discovered that Pegasus was being used against prominent figures such as French president Emmanuel Macron and Moroccan King Mohammed VI. Certain governments would also use the software to spy on human rights activists, dissidents and political opponents.