MOSCOW, July 21. /TASS/. French President Emmanuel Macron has handed down instructions to launch several investigations into the mobile phone wiretapping case with the use of Israel’s Pegasus spyware, French Prime Minister Jean Castex told a local TV station on Wednesday, Reuters reports.
On Tuesday, Le Monde revealed that one of Macron’s phone numbers was on the list of Moroccan intelligence services to be targeted with Pegasus spyware. Moreover, the list included phone numbers of former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and 14 more ministers.
"If these claims are corroborated, it would be very serious," the newspaper quoted an Elysee Palace statement as saying. "It is necessary to find out the true picture in light of this expose."
Earlier, Forbidden Stories, a Paris-based journalist NGO, and 17 media outlets around the world published an investigation stating that a number of countries could have spied on at least 50,000 people across the globe using the Pegasus spyware developed by the Israeli NSO Group. The right to use it is given exclusively to states and government agencies with a special permit by Israel’s authorities, which must be issued in each individual case. French journalists report that around 1,000 phones in France were targeted with the spyware, particularly numbers that are used by reporters.
The NGO claims that Mexico, India, Morocco, and Hungary used the program against French citizens. Some of these countries categorically rejected their involvement in the scandal.
On Tuesday, the French prosecution opened an investigation into the eavesdropping of journalists’ conversations with the use of Pegasus.