UK judge rules on misuse of Pegasus spyware

A senior UK high court judge has ruled that the ruler of Dubai hacked the phone of his ex-wife Princess Haya using the Israeli NSO Group’s controversial Pegasus spyware in an unlawful abuse of power and trust. And the Israeli manufacturer said it had terminated the contract for its Pegasus spyware with the United Arab Emirates of which the Dubai ruler is prime minister and vice president.

The ruling – made in 2020 but only revealed on October 6 2021 due to legal reporting restrictions – found that agents acting on behalf of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum hacked Princess Haya and five of her associates while the couple were locked in court proceedings in London over the welfare of their two children.

The court judgment appeared to confirm one of many elements in the massive Pegasus spyware investigation.
And it also raised questions about the role of Cherie Blair, wife of former UK prime Minister Tony Blair and an adviser on human rights to NSO. Court papers showed that Cherie Blair alerted one of the targets about the hack – Princess Haya’s lawyer Fiona Shackleton, a member of the House of Lords and previously lawyer for Prince Charles in his divorce from Princess Diana.

UK court ruling
NSO cancels UAE Pegasus contract
Lessons from the UK court on Pegasus
AEJ call for ban and more on Pegasus spyware scandal
Questions for Cherie Blair