Jamal Khashoggi’s wife to sue NSO Group over Pegasus spyware

Daniel Boffey

The wife of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is preparing a lawsuit in the US against the spyware maker NSO Group, claiming she was targeted with the Israeli company’s Pegasus software.

Hanan Elatr, 52, is also planning to sue the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for their involvement in the alleged attempts to install the software on her mobile phone. She is receiving support for her attempts to gather evidence for the cases from Agnès Callamard, the former UN official who investigated the murder in her role as special rapporteur for extrajudicial killings.

Elatr, who is in the US where she has applied for political asylum, is seeking to retrieve two mobile phones, an iPad and a laptop belonging to her husband that are believed to be in the possession of the Turkish authorities to help with her case. She said: “It is important to make everyone involved in this horrible crime accountable. My husband was a peaceful man. I believe in American justice.”

Khashoggi, a columnist for the Washington Post, was killed and dismembered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018. US intelligence agencies concluded that the killing was approved by the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, which he denied, describing it as a “heinous crime” and a “mistake … committed by officials working for the Saudi government”. The Saudi government has prosecuted 11 men for carrying out the killing and sentenced five of them to death, though the death sentences were later overturned