Morocco has filed a lawsuit against Amnesty International and a French NGO alleging that their intelligence agencies used Pegasus mobile phone spyware against dozens of French journalists, a lawyer for the government said on Thursday.
Prosecutors in Paris have launched their own investigation this week into allegations of amnesty and non-profit media reports published in the media, including the Washington Post and the French daily Le Monde.
They are based on a leaked list of 50,000 phone numbers identified by Israel’s NSO Group’s Pegasus cellphone surveillance program.
“The state of Morocco … wants all possible clarification on these false allegations from these two organizations, who claim without any evidence or proof,” lawyer Olivia Barateli said in a statement.
The first hearing was held in Paris on October 8, although the trial may not be open for another two years.
Moroccan King Mohammed VI’s phone and other royals are also on the list of numbers identified by Moroccan intelligence agencies as possible targets of Pegasus, Radio France reported on Tuesday.
French President Emmanuel Macron called an emergency national security meeting on Thursday to discuss reports of the use of Pegasus in France.
An attempted hacking was found on the phone of former environment minister and close Macron ally Francois de Rugby, allegedly in Morocco.
Morocco this week denied the claims, saying it had “never acquired computer software to penetrate communication devices”.
Bartelli said his government “wants to be punished without spreading multiple lies and fake news in the last few days.”
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