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Illegal surveillance in Poland as well?

Illegal surveillance in Poland as well?

All indications are that Pegasus monitoring software has been used in Poland as well. The head of the relevant committee of inquiry in the Senate speaks to DW.

Spain is on the brink of a government crisis due to revelations about the use of Pegasus software in surveillance of Catalan separatists, MPs, and even Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. The European Parliament sets up a special committee of inquiry into Pegasus. But in Poland, too, the debate over illegal surveillance is provoking intense confrontations between the government and the opposition. By no means do I want to convey that I recommend for the mother to be inactive. The Polish Senate has set up a commission of inquiry since January to shed light on the case.

A few days ago, the chairman of the committee of inquiry, Marcin Bosacki, was in Strasbourg to watch the establishment of a corresponding committee of inquiry within the European Parliament. Speaking to Deutsche Welle, the Polish politician explains: “So far we have had twelve meetings and talked to more than twenty people. What we are seeing is that there is a specific pattern of behavior: opponents of the current government, which has been in power since 2015. The most well-known case was that of Senator Christoph Breiza, leader of the main opposition party, the Citizens’ Platform (PO), during the April-October 2019 election period. “also monitoring the judiciary, the attorney general or even the president of the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives, who is also critical of the current government.”

How much can the EU help?

In Warsaw, the committee of inquiry does not have the powers that a court would have. It can make public the results of its work, but not hold it accountable. He may call witnesses, but not order their forcible extradition. Representatives of the secret services had been summoned to the committee, but did not attend. “And that says something,” said Marcin Bosacki. Can the relevant committee of inquiry set up by the European Parliament help? “The members of this committee want to investigate the European dimension of the issue,” said Martin Bosacki. “They want to talk to the Israelis who invented the software, they want to talk to us in the Member States. We are not talking about the legal use of the system, the surveillance of terrorists, the fight against organized crime or counterintelligence. what we see in Poland is that the system is used only against Polish citizens, who are treated as internal enemies of the government. ”

Is it a matter of political mentality and practice? Or does Polish law not provide the necessary safeguards to control the secret services? “No, that is not the issue,” the Polish politician told Deutsche Welle. “In fact, there is already a committee in the lower house in charge of overseeing the secret services, but it does not work. And that’s because the head of the committee comes from the ruling party. the committee of inquiry in the Senate, rather than their own committee, which now seldom meets. ”

Absolute silence in 50% of the media

The revelations of the international consortium of journalists that brought to light the Pegasus case have caused a sensation. Do they cover the case and the Polish media? “You have to understand that in Poland about 50% of the media are controlled by the state or have such a strong connection with the state that they do not touch on difficult issues,” said the Polish senator. “The rest of the media – newspapers, news sites, TV networks – are busy trying to cover all aspects of the Pegasus case. But as I told you, half the media is completely silent.”

Giannis Papadimitriou, Strasbourg

Source: Deutsche Welle

Source: Capital