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Spain’s intelligence chief loses position in Pegasus scandal

Spain's intelligence chief loses position in Pegasus scandal

Paz Esteban, the first female head of Spain’s intelligence agency CNI, has lost her job in a scandal involving eavesdropping software on the phones of top politicians.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, two other ministers and 16 Catalan separatist leaders were spied on with Pegasus software.

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The controversial software, made in Israel, has been used to spy on the phones of prominent people in many countries around the world.

However, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez was the first global leader to be confirmed as the target.

Defense Minister Margarita Robles says the government has decided to remove Paz Esteban, who has been with the CNI for nearly 40 years, from the post of army chief.

Defense Minister Robels himself was the victim of phone-hacking.

Paz, 64, has been running CNI since 2019. Deputy Defense Minister Esperanza Castelliro will now replace him.

Opposition groups called for the beleagured PM to resign.

The Pegasus software was developed by NSO Group, a private Israeli company. The software can penetrate into iPhone and Android phones.

In the face of criticism, the NSO says Pegasus was created for use against criminals and terrorists and was only supplied to countries with good human rights records.

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