Khashoggi friend claims Israeli firm’s spyware led to journalist’s death

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A friend of Jamal Khashoggi has reportedly filed a lawsuit against an Israeli software company alleging that its spyware led to the Saudi journalist’s death in October.

Omar Abdulaziz, a Saudi dissident, claims that he received a text message in June with a link to track a package. He alleges that the firm, the NSO Group, was actually behind the link and by clicking on it Abdulaziz exposed his phone to the firm’s spyware, according to The New York Times.

{mosads}His suit, filed in Israel, is the latest to be filed against the NSO Group, which has been accused of helping governments spy on their citizens.

Abdulaziz, who lives in Canada, also claims that he was communicating with Khashoggi about Saudi opposition projects.

He alleges that the NSO Group’s spyware gave the Saudi royal court access to those communications, something he says was a “crucial factor” in the kingdom murdering Khashoggi, The Associated Press reported.

“The spying that was directed against (Abdulaziz) and the disclosure of the content of the conversations and messages between him and Khashoggi through the system contributed significantly to the decision to assassinate Mr. Khashoggi by the assassins at the consulate,” the lawsuit reads, according to the AP.

Khashoggi, a U.S. resident who was a Washington Post columnist, was killed and dismembered inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October. The CIA has reportedly determined that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman likely ordered the killing. 

Abdulaziz’s lawsuit also cites reports that the NSO Group sold Saudi Arabia the spyware technology last year.

The AP reported that the NSO Group called the lawsuit “completely unfounded” and said it brings “no evidence that the company’s technology was used.”

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