Slovenian opposition calls for independent probe into Pegasus concerns

Party leader Tanja Fajon said Janša should explain what he was doing and discussing during his visit to the company selling the spyware Pegasus in Europe while in Israel in December 2020. [EPA-EFE/KENZO TRIBOUILLARD]

Slovenia’s opposition Social Democrats have called on Prime Minister Janez Janša to initiate an independent, voluntary forensic investigation of mobile devices of political leaders, journalists and civil society in the face of the Pegasus surveillance scandal.

Party leader Tanja Fajon said Janša should explain what he was doing and discussing during his visit to the company selling the spyware Pegasus in Europe while in Israel in December 2020.

This comes after a consortium of media reported that hacking spyware sold by the Israeli NSO Group has been allegedly used by governments to target journalists, activists and political opponents.

Fajon also urged Janša to enable an “independent and voluntary forensic investigation of mobile devices, primarily of leaders of political parties but also investigative journalists and civil society, so that we’ll actually know whether eavesdropping was actually taking place here as well”.

Some European countries have already announced independent investigations, she noted.

If Janša fails to order an investigation until a certain deadline, European institutions or independent bodies will have to be asked to do it, Fajon said.

She said the European Parliament had been urged a few days ago to start dealing both with spying allegations on European ground as well as a rise in neo-Nazism and rightist extremism in Slovenia.

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