Causa Pegasus – EVP demands removal of Kurz from spy report


The EU Parliament has finalized the processing of the use of the controversial spy software Pegasus in several EU countries. However, the report has sparked controversy. Because the authors are now faced with several amendments. The European People’s Party is demanding, among other things, the deletion of passages about business relations by ex-chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP).

ÖVP MEP Lukas Mandl explains this to the “Standard”: The warnings about Kurz’s connections to Israeli entrepreneur and NSO co-founder Shalev Hulio are “completely irrelevant and not part of the subject of the investigation”. According to the media report, the former chancellor is mentioned eleven times in the parliamentary document.

The text refers, among other things, to entrepreneur Siegfried Wolf as Kurz’s economic adviser. According to the “Standard”, the EPP also demands the deletion of this passage. Until 2018, Wolf served as chairman of the board of directors of Russian Machines, which is credited to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. The rapporteurs are not happy with the removal requests. In this context it is stated that these points were not criticized during the 15 rounds of negotiations on the final report.

Software company based in Austria withdraws
It was also announced on Monday that the controversial software company DSIRF, also named in the report and described as “based in Austria”, is withdrawing from the German-speaking area. The company landed on a Microsoft warning list last year because its so-called state trojan dubbed “Subzero” allegedly infiltrated several law firms, among others. The Directorate of State Security and Intelligence (DSN) then started an investigation.

Activities are now suspended. The company’s management feels unfairly treated – especially since Subzero was developed exclusively for use by authorities to fight cybercrime.

The use of Pegasus in some countries of the European Union, which came to light in 2020, led to the start of the investigation in the European Parliament. “Governments of the EU member states have used spyware against their citizens for political purposes,” said the draft report of the Commission of Inquiry (PEGA), which was published last November. There are corresponding indications for Poland, Hungary, Greece, Cyprus and Spain.

Source: Krone


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