The European Parliament is setting up a select committee to investigate the Pegasus scandal, announced Anna Donáth (pictured) on Facebook. The Momentum MEP, together with two of her colleagues in the Brussels-based body, Róża Thun and Sophia in ‘t Veld, called for the formation of a panel that will question Viktor Orbán and hold responsible parties to account.
It is time for Europe to finally realize that we need to offer a defense for those who have been victimized, to defend the investigative journalists, students, lawyers, and opposition politicians who have had their private lives spied upon without justification.
-wrote Anna Donáth, adding that the Pegasus affair was about democracy.
On Twitter, the politician added that Pegasus will also be investigated domestically if the opposition wins Hungary’s April 3 parliamentary elections:
Investigative outlet Direkt36 exposed the scandal last summer, revealing that Pegasus spyware, developed by Israeli IT firm NSO Group, had been used to break into break into smartphones of Hungarian investigative journalists, politicians critical of the government, as well as wealthy media moguls and those around them. Among others, the phone number of the pilot keeping watch over Viktor Orbán’s flights was also found on the Pegasus list.
Data Protection Commissioner Attila Péterfalvi also launched an investigation into the matter, but determined that the software had been used legally by Hungarian authorities. Péterfalvi’s office investigated over a hundred specific cases to determine whether the use of Pegasus spyware was legal in Hungary, finding that every case was in order.
Only part of the Commissioner’s report on Pegasus is public. There is a continuously-expanding, confidential version of the report, which will be kept secret until December 31, 2050.