Congress will not act ex officio against espionage but urges deputies to take their mobiles to computer scientists
five of the 66 independence leaders whose phones were spied on through the Pegasus system, according to the list provided by the Canadian coroners of Citizen Lab, are deputies of the Congress of Deputies. And the mobiles that were intervened by this program that can only be acquired by governments or intelligence services are, in almost all cases, the terminals that the Lower House distributed to them when they collected their respective minutes. But neither the Presidency of Congress held by Meritxell Batet nor the legal services of the chamber have plans to initiate a specific investigation of these devices, to find out if those of the spies, or those of other deputies, are really infected with Pegasus.
The hacking of the independentistas used false messages from NGOs, public institutions and the media
Authorized sources from the Parliament's management consulted by elDiario.es have explained that "for the moment" no ex officio action is planned to clarify whether these mobiles have been intervened and are being used to spy on their content. "As always, if any deputy has any questions or wants to make any queries, they can resort to the chamber's computer services, which are at their disposal," added those same sources.
When deputies acquire their status, Congress offers them a free mobile phone, a tablet and an ADSL connection at their respective homes, all of which are services paid for by the Lower House. Most of them accept them and use them for their relationships with other parliamentarians, to exchange initiatives or agree on measures. That is why throughout the week, from the affected independence groups that have parliamentary representation, Batet had been asked to adopt measures to clarify what happened with those terminals.
According to the Citizen Lab list, the deputies spied on are Miriam Nogueras (Junts), Ferrán Bel (PDeCAT), Sergi Miquel (PDeCAT), Albert Botran (CUP) and Jon Iñarritu (EH Bildu), who have reserved the possibility of taking Congress and other institutions before the courts for what happened. But the Congress will not open an ad hoc investigation, and adopts a position similar to that of the European Parliament, which has offered to analyze the devices of the MEPs – four pro-independence MEPs are also among those spied on – in the presence of the owner of the mobile to find out if they are victims of espionage.
Batet calls for the creation of the Commission that controls the CNI
The president of the Congress of Deputies did ask the parliamentary groups on Thursday to allow the constitution of the Control Commission of the credits destined for reserved expenses, which subjects the National Intelligence Corps (CNI) to control, after the scandal over the alleged espionage, although he acknowledged that at this time it is impossible due to the crossed vetoes imposed by the different groups.
“I think that it should have been constituted from the beginning of the legislature because that is what gives normality to the operation of a commission that is planned, but needs a majority and the groups are not in a position,” Batet said in an interview in RNE. She insisted on the need for this commission to be held beyond the specific case that affects independence leaders and "the urgency that they now seem to see."