Minister Gideon Sa'ar
Minister Gideon Sa'ar Hezki Baruch

Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar commented on Monday evening on the controversy surrounding the Israel Police’s use of the NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware to hack into cellphones of a long list of public figures.

"All the authorities in the country should act within the law. A thorough investigation is required here, there will be no cover ups. If someone did things without authority - he will be punished," Sa'ar said in an interview with Kan 11 News.

He expressed support for the possibility that a state commission of inquiry to probe the matter will be established. "This is a committee that has all the relevant investigative tools, and is appointed by an independent body, the President of the Supreme Court. I think that is the right thing to do."

Sa'ar also commented on a report from about three years ago, which claimed his cellphone had been hacked before the Likud primaries. "After the publication, I replaced my cellphone. I always treated the cellphone as something that could be hacked, not necessarily by government officials."

The minister was also asked what he thought of the claims that the spyware saga should lead to a change in the trial of opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

"As far as the claims are relevant, the place to bring them up is the court and not by politicians, they should not pass judgment - neither of political rivals or at all," Sa'ar replied.