The name of the deputy Adrien Quatennens appearing among the targets potentially spied on by the Israeli software Pegasus on behalf of Morocco, La France insoumise accused the French government of inaction and announced to file a complaint.
The Pegasus case – named after this spy software developed by the Israeli company NSO Group – continues to bring its share of surprises. According to an investigation by the journalistic consortium Forbidden Stories, bringing together 17 media including the French daily The world, French President Emmanuel Macron himself as well as many ministers and dozens of journalists, lawyers, activists, have been selected by the Moroccan secret services for possible surveillance by means of Pegasus. Among them would be the rebellious deputy Adrien Quatennens.
In reaction, La France insoumise (LFI) announced in a press release released on July 21 that it was going to file a complaint. “Through Adrien Quatennens, because of his responsibilities, it is all the activity and contacts of our movement and of its parliamentary group that have been potentially violated. This is why complaints will be filed, ”we can read in particular. “Adrien Quatennens, coordinator of the rebellious movement, spied on in his contacts with the entire IF by an Israeli company with the agreement of the government of Israel and advised by a former French ambassador to Israel. What retort foresees Macron, also spied on? ”, For his part questioned Jean-Luc Mélenchon in a tweet.
A. Quatennens, coordinator of the rebellious movement, spied on in his contacts with the entire IF. By an Israeli company with the agreement of the Government of Israel and advised by a former French Ambassador to Israel. What response does Macron foresee, also spied on?
– Jean-Luc Mélenchon (@JLMelenchon) July 20, 2021
Indeed, according to The echoes, “This software is only marketed to states or government agencies, with the endorsement of the Israeli government.” And according to Amnesty International quoted by Humanity on July 21, the former French ambassador to Israel mentioned by the leader of La France insoumise is Gérard Araud. Stationed in Tel Aviv from 2003 to 2006, this diplomat would have left in 2020 his post of adviser in charge of “the protection of human rights and privacy” to the company NSO. Like Release explained in 2019, Gérard Araud actually appeared on the NSO Group site as “senior advisor” to the Israeli company that markets the Pegasus spyware. He also had himself confirmed the information at the time, explaining on Twitter : “I recently joined NSO as a Senior Advisor following its acquisition by new shareholders who have committed to aligning the company with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business Practices and Human Rights. I advise the company on how to protect human rights and privacy. ”
An investigation opened in Paris into the alleged espionage of journalists
On July 20, rebellious deputy Alexis Corbière challenged Prime Minister Jean Castex in the National Assembly. The head of government, arguing that he did not have enough elements, evaded the question while assuring that if the facts were proven, they would be of “very great gravity”.
🔴 PEGASUS AFFAIR: CASTEX DOES NOT ANSWER! 🔴
I asked the Prime Minister to speak clearly to the national representation on the scandal #Pegasus !
His non-response on this spy case is shocking! Wouldn’t he know anything …? 👇#DirectAN#QAGpic.twitter.com/3kaswf2PtY
– Alexis Corbiere (@alexiscorbiere) July 20, 2021
“The sobriety of your non-response shocks me,” retorted the deputy. “The lack of response from the government to the question asked by the deputy Alexis Corbière to the National Assembly leaves many questions unanswered”, we can also read in the press release of his party. “Once inserted into the target’s phone without the user having been able to realize it, Pegasus allows access to all of the phone’s data and conversations as well as intrusively activating them. microphones and cameras ”, recall the rebels in their text, denouncing the“ violation of the most basic human rights ”.
An investigation was opened on July 20 by the Paris prosecutor’s office after a first complaint from the Mediapart news site, whose director Edwy Plenel and journalist Lénaïg Bredoux are also on the list of people potentially spied on.