Kosa: National security services acted lawfully in Pegasus case

Parliament's defence and law enforcement committee has approved a report by Interior Minister Sandor Pinter on the Pegasus case, establishing that the services involved acted lawfully in every instance, authorised by a judge or the justice minister, the head of the committee said on Thursday.

Lajos Kosa of ruling Fidesz said after the two-hour meeting held behind closed doors that members of the committee had asked during the meeting whether they could see the contracts on the acquisition of the Pegasus software. These documents had been shown to all members of the national security committee, including opposition lawmakers, at another meeting but members of the defence and law enforcement committee would have to get authorisation from the national security committee before viewing them, he added.

Commenting on statements by opposition representatives that the hearing had been unsuccessful because no concrete information was disclosed on any surveyed person, Kosa said “nobody will get concrete answers” in connection with the persons targeted by surveillance because this would harm their rights to privacy. When the software was purchased, the interior ministry pledged not to violate any person’s right to privacy, he added.

“Such data will only become available if the national security committee sets up an investigative committee on the case but no initiative of this kind has been made,” he said.

In response to a question, Kosa confirmed that the software had been acquired by the interior ministry. He added, however, that this was not an objectionable move, considering that tech giants carry out more comprehensive surveillance on citizens that the state.

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