Jamal Khashoggi’s wife planning to sue NSO Group over spyware: Report

Hanan Elatr, the wife of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, said she will sue the spyware maker NSO Group as she is reportedly preparing a lawsuit in the United States. She claimed that the Israeli company’s Pegasus software targeted her, The Guardian reported on Thursday. 

Elatr was quoted as saying, “It is important to make everyone involved in this horrible crime accountable. My husband was a peaceful man. I believe in American justice.” She is currently living in the US and seeking asylum there. 

Khashoggi, who had been sharply critical of the Saudi rulers, was claimed to be assassinated at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018. The incident was criticised by the US and other Western countries. 

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For the lawsuit, Elatr now wants to acquire all the electronic devices belonging to Khashoggi that are apparently possessed by the Turkish authorities. 

Last year, when her legal counsel attempted to obtain the devices from the Turkish embassy in Washington, the request was denied. She was advised to file a legal application in Turkey. 

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Agnes Callamard, who is the Amnesty International chief supported the efforts made by Elatr. Callamard, who led a UN probe into Khashoggi’s murder, said in a statement: “The Turkish government has been clear that it does not intend to proceed with the investigation and the trial.” She referred to a Turkish court’s decision in April to suspend the trial of 26 suspects and send the case to Saudi Arabia. 

She further added, “It should therefore hand over any evidence still in its hands to those that are truly and authentically determined to reveal the truth about Jamal’s killing. Determining whether his phones had been hacked, whether he was under digital surveillance, identifying the spywares – these are all crucial elements both for the purpose of truth-telling and for understanding and preventing targeting of dissidents.” 

Callamard said that when she had requested for Khashoggi’s electronic devices to be examined by other cyber experts, it was denied by the Turkish officials. 

Meanwhile, NSO said that its spyware was never used to attack the phones of Khashoggi or Elatr. 

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