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Catalan police have confirmed that deputies of the far-left pro-independence CUP party were also spied on with Pegasus malware. This is the second ratification resulting from a court order, after the Mossos d'Esquadra police earlier certified Pegasus espionage had taken place against leaders of another pro-independence party, the Catalan Republican Left (ERC). In particular, the deputy Carles Riera suffered an infection on one of his mobile phones during February 2019 and at least 21 megabytes of information was extracted from the terminal, without it being known where it was sent. There is also evidence that the mobile phone of Albert Botran was infected in 2020, when he was a CUP deputy in the Congress of Deputies, but the police indicate that they require more investigation to confirm whether it was Pegasus, while the copy of the data from the mobile phone provided by the ex-deputy and journalist David Fernàndez could not be analyzed due to the lack of a password. All this is contained in the report by the Catalan police's IT forensic unit, to which has had access, and which has been delivered to the judge of Barcelona Court No. 32, which together with the public prosecutors, demanded an official expert analysis of the espionage denounced by these three members of the Popular Unity Candidacy in a complaint presented in April 2022.

The Canadian group Citizen Lab revealed two years ago in its CatalanGate investigation that around sixty politicians and activists in Catalan independence circles had been spied on, including Riera, Botran and Fernàndez. All three, through the lawyer Benet Salellas, presented a complaint against this espionage which they attribute to the Spanish government, through the National Intelligence Centre (CNI), and they presented a private expert report, from the company Evidentia, which confirms the conclusions reached by Citizen Lab. Now, the same hypothesis has been ratified for the third time, this time by the Mossos in response to a judicial order.

Three ERC infections confirmed

The complaints of espionage against the independence movement are not unified in a single court, a fact which might prevent judges from identifying the same pattern of intrusion, as lawyers have claimed, and now Mossos specialists confirm. Thus, the judge of Barcelona Court No. 20, investigating some of those affected in the ERC party, received the first report from the Mossos in January, confirming the infection with Pegasus on the mobile phones of MEP Diana Riba, Catalan deputy Josep Maria Jové and former deputy Sergi Sabrià. And now, with a second report, the Mossos ratify the espionage against the CUP.

In addition to laying a complaint against the CNI spy agency, all those close to the independence movement who are affected by Pegasus - from ERC, the CUP and the two major civil groups, Òmnium Cultural and the ANC - also filed a complaint against NSO, owner of the Pegasus malware - which it sells exclusively to government agencies to fight organized crime and terrorism. However, no information from NSO in Israel and Luxembourg has reached any of the courts in Barcelona that are investigating the espionage.