Read in Catalan

First responses to the judicial complaints against the Pegasus espionage lodged in Barcelona. Barcelona’s public prosecutor specializing in IT-related crime, Roberto Valverde, has informed Barcelona investigative court number 21 that he favours the partial admittance of the complaint filed by the civil society group Òmnium Cultural. Specifically, the prosecutor rules out that NSO, the Israeli company that owns the malicious software, could be investigated in Spain, or that its action is criminal, and only recommends that an investigation be begun to find out whether a crime of disclosure of secrets was committed with regard to the three Òmnium complainants, and if so, who the perpetrator is.

With regard to the CUP political party's complaint, the prosecutor informed Barcelona investigative court number 32 that it was not correct to unify the investigation of the complaint filed by members of the party with the case opened in 2020 over the complaint of the then-speaker of parliament Roger Torrent and the city councillor Ernest Maragall because "it cannot be affirmed that the actions were carried out by the same person". Therefore, the judge can now refer the CUP's complaint to another court, Barcelona investigative court number 22, ​​which is the first in line due to the normal process of case distribution, so the Pegasus complaints in Barcelona may end up being divided among different courts, unless the plaintiffs appeal to the higher Barcelona Audience. With regard to the other cases, from the ERC party and the ANC civil society group, for now, nothing is known.


Specifically, in relation to Òmnium's complaint, based on article 197.3 of the Spanish Penal Code over revelation of secrets, seeking to prosecute the creation and making available to third parties of the Pegasus program, the prosecutor Valverde states that it is inadmissible due to "lack of jurisdiction". The NSO company which manufactures Pegasus is headquartered in Israel. The prosecutor also calls for the dismissal of the complaints under Articles 197.1 and 197.2 of the Penal Code, under which Òmnium seeks to sue NSO for failing to monitor the proper use of Pegasus. According to the prosecutor, "the facts imputed in the complaint do not have the principle of proof that reasonably proves their reality", and adds that it is also unreasonable to open an investigation to verify facts that, if true, "would not be a crime attributable to the defendant entity”, referring to the company NSO, owner of Pegasus. 

However, the other complaint should be admitted, he says, to investigate the facts relating to the "possible violation of the right to privacy and secrecy of the complainants' communications", in order to determine "the effective cause, extension and authorship” of this.