Fidesz MP admits government bought spyware used to hack journalists

“Is the interior ministry the buyer of the Pegasus software?” journalists asked after a hearing with Interior Minister Sándor Pintér, to which Kósa replied “yes”, Telex reported via ATV and RTL. [Shutterstock / Shawn Hill]

Fidesz MP Lajos Kósa, the chairman of the Hungarian parliament’s defence and law enforcement committee, admitted on Thursday (4 November) that the interior ministry had bought the Israeli Pegasus spy software, which press investigations revealed last summer was used to spy on journalists, businessmen, and local politicians.

“Is the interior ministry the buyer of the Pegasus software?” journalists asked after a hearing with Interior Minister Sándor Pintér, to which Kósa replied “yes”, Telex reported via ATV and RTL.

According to Kósa, there is nothing wrong with the purchase, and the services concerned have acted legally in all cases, and received judicial and justice ministerial approval.

However, the materials circulated during Thursday’s meeting of Kósa’s committee meeting were classified until 2050, centre-left Democratic Coalition (DK) politician and committee member Ágnes Vadai told the press.

“We tried to ask about specific (according to the press) persons under surveillance, but minister Sándor Pintér would neither confirm nor deny whether these persons were indeed under surveillance”, she added.

(Vlagyiszlav Makszimov | EURACTIV.com with Telex)

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