UN Experts Say Bezos Phone Hacking Linked to Saudi Prince
January 22, 2020
The investigators concluded in a report released Wednesday that an infected video from the WhatsApp account of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was sent to the billionaire's cell phone.
"The alleged hacking of Mr. Bezos’ phone, and those of others, demands an immediate investigation by U.S. and other relevant authorities," U.N. Special Rapporteurs Agnes Callamard and David Kaye said in a report issued in Geneva.
"U.N. digital forensics experts who analyzed Bezos’ phone in 2019 said records showed that within hours of receiving the video, there was “an anomalous and extreme change in phone behavior," according to the report.
The experts also said enormous amounts of data from Bezos’ phone was transmitted in the following months.
The Saudi embassy in the U.S. vehemently denied that kingdom hacked the
phone, tweeting that media reports suggesting that such a hack occurred
“are absurd.” The embassy also called for an investigation into the
matter “so that we can have all the facts out.”
Khashoggi was killed by Saudi agents inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in October 2018, five months after Bezos’ phone was infiltrated.
"The information we have received suggests the possible involvement of the Crown Prince in surveillance of Mr. Bezos, in an effort to influence, if not silence," the Washington Post’s reporting of Saudi Arabia, the UN experts said.
The investigators said the timing and circumstances of the hacking are grounds to further investigate “allegations that the Crown Prince ordered, incited, or, at a minimum, was aware of planning for” the plot to kill Khashoggi.