“The information we have received suggests the possible involvement of the Crown Prince in surveillance of Mr. Bezos, in an effort to influence, if not silence, The Washington Post’s reporting on Saudi Arabia,” the experts said in a statement Wednesday.
The statement was released by UN special rapporteur Agnes Callamard, who specializes in extrajudicial killings and conducted an investigation into the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and David Kaye, a UN special rapporteur focused on freedom of expression. The pair called for an investigation into the allegations.
“We call for an investigation on these claims so that we can have all the facts out,” the embassy added.
The UN experts said in their statement that they “recently became aware” of a forensic analysis of Bezos’ phone which assessed that it was infiltrated on May 1, 2018, with a video file sent from a WhatsApp account utilized personally by bin Salman.
According to the assessment seen by the UN experts, a “massive” amount of information was exported from Bezos’ phone starting within hours of the video being sent. The data spike continued undetected over some months and altogether, more than 6 gigabytes of data was stolen, according to the experts’ summary of the report.
“The forensic analysis assessed that the intrusion likely was undertaken through the use of a prominent spyware product identified in other Saudi surveillance cases,” the UN experts said in their statement.
The revelation casts a new shadow over the future king, whose efforts to overhaul Saudi Arabia’s economy and attract foreign investment have been frustrated by global concern over his alleged role in the murder of Khashoggi in the country’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Sources previously told CNN that the CIA has concluded that bin Salman personally ordered the killing, which bin Salman has consistently denied.
At the time of his death in October 2018, Khashoggi was working as a columnist for the Washington Post, a newspaper owned by Bezos. Khashoggi was a dissident who had been critical of the Saudi government.
The UN experts echoed that allegation on Wednesday.
“At a time when Saudi Arabia was supposedly investigating the killing of Mr. Khashoggi, and prosecuting those it deemed responsible, it was clandestinely waging a massive online campaign against Mr. Bezos and Amazon targeting him principally as the owner of The Washington Post,” Callamard and Kaye said in their statement.
A spokesman for the publisher of the National Enquirer previously said, “American Media does not have, nor have we ever had, any editorial or financial ties to Saudi Arabia.” An attorney for American Media CEO David Pecker, Elkan Abramowitz, said in February that the source for the tabloid’s story was “not Saudi Arabia.”
Source : Nbcnewyork