WARSAW (Reuters) – A Polish opposition senator who believes his phone was hacked using sophisticated spyware developed by the Israeli group NSO has accused prosecutors of failing to follow up on the case, considering it a “hot potato” to be passed between offices.
The Associated Press (AP) reported this month that researchers at the University of Toronto discovered Senator Krzysztof Brejza was hacked in 2019 using the Pegasus software, during an election during which he led the campaign of the largest opposition party.
AP also reported that the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab project found Ewa Wrzosek, a prosecutor critical of the government’s judicial reforms, and Roman Giertych, an attorney who has represented opposition figures, had their phones hacked. .
All three claim that the ruling nationalist party in Poland Law and Justice (PiS) was responsible for the hacking.
Stanislaw Zaryn, spokesperson for the Polish security services, said he could not comment on the methods used by the Polish security services or whether the services had investigated specific individuals.
He previously said any suggestion that the Polish services were engaged in domestic political battles was false.
A PiS spokesperson declined to comment further. “The security services have commented on this subject,” she said.
“The prosecutor’s office is doing nothing, it is paralyzed,” Brejza told Reuters by phone, adding that he and his wife informed prosecutors of a possible phone hack in September.
“The prosecutor’s office is playing for time – they don’t want to open an investigation or refuse to open an investigation, they are just treating it like a hot potato that is better to throw elsewhere,” Brejza said.
He said the complaint was passed between prosecutors’ offices across the country to no avail.
The National Prosecutor’s Office and the Ostrow Wielkopolski Prosecutor’s Office, which are currently dealing with Brejza’s case, did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.
Government critics say the prosecutor’s office has been politicized. Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro, the architect of judicial reforms which the European Union says undermines the independence of the courts, also serves as the attorney general.
The NSO Group says it manufactures technologies for use by governments and law enforcement agencies to fight crime and terrorism, and has safeguards in place to prevent abuse.
Digital rights researchers say Pegasus has been used to spy on civil society in several countries.
(Reporting by Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk and Anna Koper, written by Alan Charlish; editing by Alex Richardson)
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