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Saudi crown prince stands behind Amazon boss phone hacking

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial and arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard has stated that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammad bin Salman is the “most likely source” of hacking the phone of Amazon’s chief executive, Jeff Bezos.

“The company (FTI Consulting) responsible for the legal investigation has been extremely thorough and robust because they have conducted this investigation as part of an FBI investigation,” Callamard told TRT World last night.

She stressed that her team went through a report with their experts and concluded that Mohammad bin Salman was behind the hacking.

“We received the report a few months ago and in recent weeks we have consulted our independent experts who have reviewed the findings and work of this initial legal inquiry. After a series of exchanges between experts, they have concluded that the most likely source of Mr Hacker’s phone hacking. Bezos was really a message on ‘WhatsApp’ originating from an account owned by the Saudi crown prince, “Callamard said.

Noting that the evidence provided was very technical, she said that “Immediately after receiving the file in video form, the phone behaved very differently from what it had done before receiving that message … data transmitted by the phone grew thousands of percent ”.

Numerous media outlets, including The Guardian, The Financial Times and The Daily Beast, on Tuesday reported that Bin Salman is behind hacking Bezos’ phone in May 2018 when he posted a video through the WhatsApp application loaded with viruses spyware, in an attempt to extract files from Bezos’ phone.

Bezos is also the owner of The Washington Post daily, where journalist Jamal Khashoggi once wrote columns criticizing the Saudi crown prince’s oppressive policies before being killed by Saudi agents in Istanbul.

On Wednesday, the UN rapporteur said their initial findings indicated that Bin Salman was involved in Bezos’s hacking efforts in an effort to delete reports on The Washington Post’s Saudi Arabia.

Hours after the scandal broke with Bezo’s phone hacking, the Saudi embassy in the US called the allegations “absurd”.

“We call for an investigation into these allegations in order to have all the facts,” the Saudi embassy wrote on Twitter.

Saudi officials appeared in the same form after Khashoggi’s assassination, with immediate denial calling for an investigation.

Riyadh acknowledges that its agents killed Khashoggi but blames a mismanaged operation that was executed without the consent of the crown prince, an explanation which has been mocked by critics who suspect that the killing could take place without the consent of bin Salman, the ruler. ‘de facto’ of the Kingdom.

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