French prosecutors open investigation into alleged use of Pegasus malware to spy on journalists

Prosecutors in Paris said on Tuesday they had opened an investigation into allegations that Moroccan intelligence agencies had used the Israeli-made malware Pegasus to spy on several French journalists.

The investigation will investigate 10 different charges, including whether there was an invasion of privacy, fraudulent access to personal electronic devices and criminal association.

The French investigative website Mediapart filed a legal complaint on Monday and the satirical weekly Le Canard enchaîné will follow suit over the spy claims, which Morocco has denied.

A joint investigation by The Washington Post, The Guardian, Le Monde and other media outlets, based on a leaked list of 50,000 phone numbers, claimed Monday that espionage worldwide using the malware from Israeli company NSO Group was much more extensive than previously thought.

Mediapart revealed that founder Edwy Plenel’s phones and one of his journalists had been targeted by Moroccan intelligence services.

Other journalists working for French media companies are said to have been targeted by Moroccan security services, including employees of Le Monde, Agence France-Presse and FRANCE 24.

Morocco denied the claims, saying it has “never acquired computer software to infiltrate communications equipment”.

( Jowharwith AFP)

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