Saturday, March 2, 2024

Jamal Khashoggi’s wife to sue NSO Group, UAE, Saudi govts over Pegasus spyware

The wife of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is preparing a lawsuit in the US against the Pegasus spyware maker NSO Group.

Hanan Elatr, 52, claimed that she was targeted with the Israeli company’s Pegasus software.

Elatr is also planning to sue the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for their involvement in the alleged attempts to install the software on her mobile phone, The Guardian reported.

The Guardian reported that the slain journalist’s partner is receiving support for her attempts to gather evidence for the cases from Agnès Callamard, the former UN official who investigated the murder in her role as special rapporteur for extrajudicial killings.

“It is important to make everyone involved in this horrible crime accountable. My husband was a peaceful man. I believe in American justice,” said Elatr, who is in the US where she has applied for political asylum.

Last year a joint investigation by the largest media groups across world in the Pegasus Project revealed new evidence that a client of NSO had targeted Elatr several months before her husband’s death, between November 2017 and April 2018.

The Pegasus software can transform a phone into a surveillance device, with microphones and cameras activated without a user knowing.

Khashoggi, a columnist for the Washington Post, was killed and dismembered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018.

US intelligence agencies concluded that the killing was approved by the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, which he denied, describing it as a “heinous crime” and a “mistake … committed by officials working for the Saudi government”.

The Saudi government has prosecuted 11 men for carrying out the killing and sentenced five of them to death, though the death sentences were later overturned.

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