Polish agencies will investigate Pegasus allegations, PM says
Polish government agencies will scrutinise allegations that the Israeli-made Pegasus mobile phone spying system was used against government opponents, Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister, has said.
Last week, the US news agency Associated Press reported that a specialist IT department at the University of Toronto had confirmed that the Pegasus software had been used to hack the mobile phones of some opposition figures, including Senator Krzysztof Brejza, who at the time of the attack was head of a parliamentary campaign for the main opposition party, the Civic Coalition (KO).
The analysts were unable to pinpoint who was behind the spying, but said that NSO Group, the spyware maker, only sells its software to government agencies.
"Of course, the agencies will certainly clear up this case to the very end and I'm convinced that there is more untrue than true information among what's been appearing in the public domain, but I have also asked the agencies to clear it up," Morawiecki told a press conference on Thursday.
Roman Giertych, a lawyer and government critic, and Ewa Wrzosek, a prosecutor who launched an investigation into a botched postal presidential election of 2020 that cost the taxpayers millions of zlotys, were the two other figures mentioned in the Associated Press story.
Donald Tusk, leader of Poland's main opposition party, who was a client of Giertych, said KO would move for the appointment of a parliamentary investigative commission into the use of Pegasus against the opposition.
Marian Banaś, head of the Supreme Audit Office (NIK), a body that inspects the operation of state entities, said on Twitter on Thursday that "allegations concerning surveillance of politicians and citizens constitute one of the most serious crises of democracy."
Banaś was responding to a request for NIK investigation into the matter by both Senator Brejza and the Left, an opposition party.
"Having investigated the implementation of the 2019 budget law, NIK already voiced serious doubts in this respect," Banaś said.
"It's time to go back to the case," he added.