Hungarian Ministers Asked to Resign over Pegasus Controversy

The Hungarian opposition on Tuesday has demanded ministerial resignations from Viktor Orbán’s far-right government over allegations of targeting journalists, media owners, and opposition politicians with the Pegasus spyware.

The Guardian and other members of the Pegasus project consortium published the allegations last week, backed up in a number of cases with forensic analysis of mobile devices performed by Amnesty International, showing those phones are infected with the Pegasus spyware.

A protest against the government over the Pegasus affair drew about 1,000 people on Monday evening.

“At the very least, the minister of justice has to resign,” said Gergely Karácsony, the mayor of Budapest and most likely challenger to Orbán for the prime minister’s post at elections next spring, in an interview at Budapest’s city hall.

Judit Varga, the justice minister, declined to comment on whether the Hungarian government used Pegasus but commented that “every country needs such tools”.

Hungarian legislation allows the intelligence services to order surveillance with no judicial oversight in cases where national security is at stake with only the signature of the minister of justice as a prerequisite.

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