Ron Alsheich
Ron AlsheichAdi Cohen Tzedek

Former Police Commissioner Ron Alsheich responded Sunday night to the scandal surrounding the police's alleged use of the NSO company's Pegasus software to spy on Israeli citizens, claiming that the police did not follow the people whose names were published in the Calcalist report at all.

At a Reichman University conference, Alsheich said: "There is no Pegasus for the Israel Police. All the names that were published without exception were examined in depth by the police - and they never happened. Anyone who inspects does so by order. Putting what was done next to Pegasus is an insult to the Pegasus software."

"What the law allows - is the tools the police have. Sometimes they may want more, but our police are very sensitive in these matters. This story is a spin - and someone will pay for it," the former commissioner added.

The State Prosecution notified the Jerusalem District Court Sunday that no spyware software was illegally inserted into the cellular devices of anyone concerned in the various court cases against former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unless it was according to court order.

“Our checks have revealed that no actions were taken against officials without first obtaining a court order,” the Prosecution stated, adding that, “There is no further material derived from interrogations in the files.”

With regard to the court orders that were received, allegedly permitting police to spy on the cellular devices of Shlomo Filber, Nir Hefetz, Shaul and Iris Elovitch, and others, the Prosecution has requested an extension until Wednesday at four o’clock in the afternoon to issue its reply to the Court.

According to a report on Channel 13 News, the State Prosecution is expected to admit that illegal use was made of spyware technology against former Communications Ministry director-general Shlomo Filber, who turned state witness, but that the illegal activity consisted only of extracting more data than the original court order permitted.

Allegedly, the material that police obtained was not actually transferred into the hands of investigators. In addition, police attempted to insert spyware software into the personal device of another unnamed person involved in Case 4000 against the former premier, but their attempt failed, as did the attempt to spy on the cellular device of Iris Elovitch, which was also done allegedly after a court order permitted it.

The leaders of the parties of the right-wing bloc - the Likud, Shas, United Torah Judaism and 'Religious Zionism,' issued a joint statement demanding that a state commission of inquiry be established into the police's use of the NSO's Pegasus software to spy on Israeli citizens.

"The leaders of the opposition factions reject the superficial and hasty investigation of the police and demand the immediate establishment of a state commission of inquiry into the espionage case against the citizens of Israel," the party leaders said.

The full post: "We outright reject the attempted silence in the espionage case against the citizens of Israel, one of the most serious cases in the history of the country, and demand the immediate establishment of a state commission of inquiry. Even the evasive response of the police confirms that espionage operations were indeed carried out against civilians."

''Until now, Israel's citizens have not yet received answers to the main questions: against whom the espionage was carried out, when the espionage was carried out, to what extent, who gave the order, who were the people in charge, and whether the judges who issued the order were misled because they were not told that it was a tool of espionage and the extraction of aggressive and illegal information against civilians.

''The police cannot investigate themselves in a superficial and urgent examination without anyone being questioned with a warning, without preventing disruption of an investigation or version coordination, and without presenting to the public a complete picture of the extent of the espionage against Israeli citizens and the use of information obtained from them.

"We have seen in the past what the police's self-investigation is worth - in the Umm al-Hiran case, in denying the improper investigation tactics done to state witness Nir Hefetz, thwarting the candidacy of Gal Hirsch for commissioner and the removal of Deputy Commissioner Guy Nir after we warned of improper conduct within the police.

''Every day that passes without a state commission of inquiry increases the chances of the disruption of an investigation, coordinating evidence and concealing evidence. A state commission of inquiry must be established now."