Spain reopens a probe into a Pegasus spyware case after a French request to work together


MADRID (AP) — A Spanish judge has reopened a probe into the suspected spying on the cellphone of Spain’s prime minister after receiving a request to collaborate with a similar investigation in France.

The judge with Spain’s National Court said Tuesday there is reason to believe that the new information provided by France can “allow the investigations to advance.”

Both probes concern the alleged use of Pegasus spyware developed by the Israeli NSO Group. The spyware silently infiltrates phones or other devices to harvest data and potentially spy on their owners. NSO asserts that it is only made available to governments for fighting terrorism and other security threats.

Pegasus has been used to target more than 1,000 people across 50 countries, including activists and journalists, according to security researchers and a 2021 global media investigation.

Spain announced in May 2022 that Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and three of his ministers, including the ministers of defense and interior, had been targeted by Pegasus spyware. The resulting judicial probe was provisionally shelved when it failed to get results.

French President Emmanuel Macron and several of his ministers have also been allegedly targeted by Pegasus.

In a separate case of alleged Pegasus spying in Spain, Spain’s government has admitted to using it to hack phones of leading Catalan separatists.

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