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20 Jul 2021

Autor*in:
Angelique Chrisafis, Dan Sabbagh, Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Michael Safi, The Guardian

Emmanuel Macron among 14 world leaders identified in leaked Pegasus project data

The leaked database at the heart of the Pegasus project includes the mobile phone numbers of the French president, Emmanuel Macron, and 13 other heads of state and heads of government, the Guardian can reveal. The South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, and the Pakistani prime minister, Imran Khan, are also listed in the data, which includes diplomats, military chiefs and senior politicians from 34 countries.

The appearance of a number on the leaked list – which includes numbers selected by governments that are clients of NSO Group, the Israeli spyware firm – does not mean it was subject to an attempted or successful hack. NSO insists the database has “no relevance” to the company.

... Political figures whose numbers appear in the list include:

  • The South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, who appears to have been selected by Rwanda in 2019.
  • Emmanuel Macron, the French president, who appears to have been selected as a person of interest by Morocco in 2019. An Élysée official said: “If this is proven, it is clearly very serious. All light will be shed on these media revelations.”
  • Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the World Health Organization’s director general, who also appears to have been of interest to Morocco in 2019.
  • Saad Hariri, who resigned as prime minister of Lebanon last week and appears to have been selected by the UAE in 2018 and 2019.
  • Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, who appears to have been chosen as a person of interest by Morocco in 2019, when he was prime minister of Belgium.
  • King Mohammed VI of Morocco, who was selected as a person of interest in 2019, apparently by security forces in his own country.
  • Saadeddine Othmani, Morocco’s prime minister, who was also selected as a person of interest in 2018 and 2019, again possibly by elements within his own country.
  • Imran Khan, the prime minister of Pakistan, who was selected as a person of interest by India in 2019.
  • Felipe Calderón of Mexico, the former president. His number was selected in 2016 and 2017 by what is believed to have been a Mexican client during a period when his wife, Margarita Zavala was running for the country’s top political job.
  • Robert Malley, a longtime American diplomat who was chief negotiator on the US-Iran deal, and who appears to have been selected as a person of interest by Morocco in 2019. NSO has said its government clients are prevented from deploying its software against US numbers because it has been made “technically impossible”.

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