Minister of Information, Galit Distel-Atbaryan, referred today (Sunday) at the opening of the government meeting to the investigation committee on the Pegasus affair: "The right-wing is the one that cares about human rights."
Distel addressed the affair by stating: "The right-wing is the one that cares about citizens' rights today. More than a thousand people have been affected by this software. It's a serious violation of human rights. The left tends to defend hegemonies whose behavior befits dictatorial states.
As mentioned, the Minister of Justice, Yariv Levin, decided to establish a government inquiry committee regarding the use of cyber tools for surveillance and collection by law enforcement agencies.
The committee will be authorized to examine the conduct of law enforcement personnel, the prosecution, and their monitoring systems, in all matters related to the execution of procurement, surveillance, and collection operations using cyber tools, such as the Pegasus system, against citizens and individuals holding positions.
The Legal Advisor on Pegasus: the committee has no authority to deal with criminal cases
Last week, the Legal Advisor to the Government sent a letter to the Minister of Justice, Member of Knesset Yariv Levin, in which she stated that the committee does not have the authority to allow the examination of pending criminal cases, among other things, due to conflicts of interest involving the Prime Minister.
The Legal Advisor explained: "If indeed your proposal is accepted that the committee will engage in ongoing investigations and pending criminal cases, despite the lack of authority as mentioned, the concern of a conflict of interest involving the Prime Minister also arises due to the potential influence of the committee's work on the ongoing criminal case against him."
Minister Levin to the Legal Advisor: "You are in a severe conflict of interest"
She further added about the opposition of the security officials and the State Comptroller to the committee: "It is important to note the following facts in this regard: one, that all the security officials who were required to question the establishment of the committee informed the political level that they oppose the establishment of the inspection committee, and the second, that the State Comptroller has been conducting a comprehensive audit for about two years about the matter".
Later, Minister Levin responded to the legal advisor by writing that the inherent conflict of interest within the legal consultation to the government on this matter is astounding: "From the moment that the investigation committee is authorized according to the proposed appointment letter, among other things, to examine the supervision process and the role of legal consultation to the government in the well-known 'Pegasus affair'."
The Minister concluded: "The attempt of an entity, headed by someone involved in the matter, to define the boundaries of an inquiry that pertains to the very issue in which he is implicated, and that his conduct will be subject to review within its framework, is something that would not even cross one's mind."