In Poland, a large-scale investigation has been launched into the use of the PEGASUS spyware on the previous government. The parliamentary commission is considering bringing criminal charges against Polish officials who were in power before. Minister of Justice Adam Bodnar said that in the coming months, victims of illegal surveillance will be identified and informed. They will also have the opportunity to seek compensation through legal means.

“There are strong possibilities that we will have detailed information in a few months about how this technology was utilized and for what purposes,” Bodnar mentioned, adding that it is currently unclear who will face charges – former ministers, secret service personnel, or other individuals.

The PEGASUS program, developed by the Israeli company NSO Group, enables complete control over smartphones, recording the actions of the owner, and accessing any secure data. This led to a major international scandal following the leak of personal information of numerous victims worldwide in 2021.

The leak exposed that Hungarian authorities had used PEGASUS to spy on media and civil society representatives. A separate investigation by researchers from the University of Toronto in 2021 linked the use of the spyware in Poland to the activities of the Opposition Movement “Civil Platform”. One notable target was European Parliament deputy Krzysztof Breiz, who was leading the party’s election campaign at the time.

“The list of victims is much broader than what has been disclosed, including many other prominent figures,” emphasized Bodnar.

Bodnar also suggested that the court approving the surveillance likely did not know which spyware was being used.

“They granted permits without knowing that the program was utilized without proper licenses and that the data was flowing to Israel,” he explained.

Last week, Polish special services conducted searches in the residences of former officials from the previously ruling nationalist party “Law and Justice” (PIS) as part of a separate investigation. The special services are investigating whether funds from the Justice Fund were misappropriated.

PIS lost power in October 2023 after an 8-year rule, losing to the pro-European coalition led by Donald Tuska. The new authorities aim to hold accountable anyone who broke the law during the previous government’s tenure.

/Reports, release notes, official announcements.