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Council of Europe wants Morocco to report on whether it used Pegasus outside the country and Israel to cooperate in investigations

The draft resolution that will be discussed in the Assembly also wants Spain to report on the use of 'spyware'.

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Council of Europe wants Morocco to report on whether it used Pegasus outside the country and Israel to cooperate in investigations

The draft resolution that will be discussed in the Assembly also wants Spain to report on the use of 'spyware'


The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is preparing to debate for approval in the plenary session next October a resolution in which Morocco is ordered to report on whether it has used Pegasus to spy outside the country and Israel is also asked its full collaboration in open investigations in European countries such as Spain regarding the use of this 'spyware' program.

The Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee gave the green light this Friday to the draft resolution that will be taken to the plenary session of the Assembly that will take place from October 9 to 13 in Strasbourg (France). The document, to which Europa Press has had access, is based on the report prepared by the Dutch deputy Pieter Omtzigt, of the EPP, and must receive the vote of the simple majority of the Assembly for its approval.

The text of the resolution, which will now be subject to the amendments that the parliamentary groups in PACE want to present for debate and subsequent approval in plenary, states that several of the 46 countries that make up the Council of Europe "have acquired and used Pegasus for selective surveillance of their own citizens" and specifically includes Spain among the 14 EU countries known to have bought into this espionage program.

In it, the Parliamentary Assembly defends that "the use of 'spyware' of the Pegasus type should be limited to exceptional situations as a measure of last resort, to prevent or investigate a specific act that amounts to a real and genuine threat to national security or a specific serious crime, and only against the person suspected of committing or planning to commit those acts.

Likewise, it expresses its deep concern about "growing evidence that Pegasus and similar devices have been used illegally or for illegitimate purposes by several member states, including against journalists, political opponents, human rights defenders and lawyers."

In the specific case of Spain, one of the countries that is expressly mentioned in the document based on the findings made by the commission on Pegasus in the European Parliament, it is recalled that the telephone numbers of the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, and several ministers "were allegedly infected with Pegasus by a third country (Morocco)."

Likewise, and based on what was stated by the European Parliament, it also points out that "65 people related to the Catalan pro-independence movement were allegedly attacked with Pegasus and/or Candiru, 18 of whom have been confirmed as legal targets by the Spanish authorities. ".

Thus, the Parliamentary Assembly wants Morocco, a country that enjoys a "partner for the status of democracy", to inform them within three months - from the moment the text was approved - "of whether it has used Pegasus or similar 'spyware' in or outside its territory." This would be where the alleged spying on Sánchez and other members of the Government would come in, but also on the French president, Emmanuel Macron.

Furthermore, Morocco is asked to launch within three months "a fully independent investigation into the alleged use of Pegasus by state authorities against targets in Morocco and targets within the jurisdiction of member states of the Council of Europe." .

There are also specific requests to Israel, the country where Pegasus is manufactured and which enjoys observer status in the Assembly. Thus, the draft resolution asks Israeli authorities to "cooperate fully with investigations carried out by member states of the Council of Europe regarding the use of Pegasus and other spyware exported by Israel or sold by companies based in Israel."

It is worth remembering that on December 10, the judge of the National Court José Luis Calama proceeded to file the case that investigated the alleged espionage of Sánchez and several ministers with Pegasus due to the "absolute" lack of legal cooperation from Israel, which had not responded. to the rogatory commission sent by the court.

Israel is also asked to "strengthen its export control mechanisms to ensure that licenses relating to 'spyware' technologies are denied or revoked when there is a substantial risk that these technologies could be used for domestic or transnational repression and/or the commission of violations of Human Rights". In addition, he wants it to make its export control framework public within six months and send it to him.

On the other hand, the text also makes requests to the members of the Council of Europe. Thus, it maintains that the courts and judicial authorities of states "accused of abuses with 'spyware' must fully investigate and determine whether the use of Pegasus or similar was legal under national law and in accordance with the (European Convention on Human Rights). ) and other international standards".

Spain is expressly asked to inform the Assembly and the Venice Commission, an advisory body made up of constitutional experts, "on the use of Pegasus, Candiru and the like, within a period of three months."

It also requests that "effective, independent and prompt investigations be carried out into all confirmed and suspected cases of spyware abuse" and that "sufficient redress be provided to victims in cases of illegal surveillance." Finally, the Spanish State is asked to apply the appropriate sanctions, whether criminal or administrative, in cases of abuse."