Ruling party leader denies opposition's accusations of wiretapping
Jarosław Kaczyński, the leader of Poland's ruling party Law and Justice (PiS), in an interview with PAP denied accusations made by the opposition that the government had abused a sophisticated spyware system to wiretap people opposing the government.
The Citizen Lab Research Laboratory, a specialist IT department at the University of Toronto, confirmed in late December that Israeli-made Pegasus software had been used to hack the mobile phones of a number of people linked to Poland's opposition. The researcher recently added two more victims, the leader of recent farmers' protests and a writer who was critical of the government.
But Kaczyński told PAP Poland's special services had not targeted people for political reasons.
"When it comes to the people who were targets of the services, most certainly, the decisions were not influenced by political reasons," the party leader said.
"All special services must have means that are adequate to the current level of technology," Kaczyński added.
"Operational activities are completely legal," Kaczyński continued. "The procedure starts with a justified motion by the services which is sent to prosecutors, but the final decision is made by a court."
Opposition parties claim the wiretapping could have affected the 2019 parliamentary election results owing to the fact that the spyware was used against the head of the parliamentary campaign for the main opposition bloc, the centrist Civic Coalition.
But Kaczyński downplayed the accusations.
"Saying that some activities may have had a connection with the election is simply a figment of fevered imagination," the party leader said.
"There is no doubt that if there was such abuse, it did not happen during our rule," Kaczynski added.