The Budapest Investigative Prosecution Office has terminated its investigation into the so-called Pegasus case, as it failed to find that a criminal offense had taken place, wrote the Central Chief Investigative Prosecution Office in a statement. According to its findings, the government did not engage in any unauthorized collection of secret intelligence through the use of Pegasus.
Israeli-made Pegasus spyware was used by the government to conduct surveillance on journalists and opposition public figures, as stated in a complaint made to the Prosecutor General’s Office.
The prosecution wrote that it did not examine what type of software the authorities had used, but whether there were legal requirements for allowing the use of devices used to collect information covertly. By law, a judge or external authority must provide a warrant for any wiretap.
Classified documents were also examined during the investigation, but it was still determined that no unauthorized collection of secret information or unauthorized use of covert devices had taken place. The investigating office noted that wiretapping may also occur for reasons of national security.
Over the past year, several journalists have indicated that they were among those under surveillance by the Israeli spyware. In its defense, the Prosecutor General’s Office wrote that the targets of secret intelligence collection were not necessarily suspected of having committed a crime.
The National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (NAIH) also previously found that the surveillance activities met all legal criteria.
It is not known who signed the surveillance warrants, as the government has made this information confidential. However, suspicion has focused on Justice Minister Judit Varga or State Secretary for Justice Pál Völner, who later faced unrelated charges of bribery. [Telex]