Roni Alsheikh
Roni AlsheikhAdi Cohen Zedek

Former Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh has told his associates he is considering filing a defamation lawsuit against the Calcalist newspaper, after a probe found that the Israel Police did not illegally use NSO’s Pegasus spyware against civilians.

The Israel Hayom newspaper reported on Monday that the Israel Police is also considering whether to file a lawsuit against the newspaper.

Calcalistlast month published a report which said that the Israel Police had been using the highly controversial Pegasus spyware system to hack into phones belonging to regular Israeli citizens without receiving approval from a judge.

On Monday, however, a team led by Deputy Attorney General Amit Merari concluded that there is no evidence that the police used Pegasus to spy on civilians without approval from a judge.

Following the newspaper's publications, Alsheikh became the target of an attack on social media and some even called for his arrest.

Two weeks ago, Alsheikh responded for the first time to the Calcalist report and said that "as someone who knew the system closely, I have no doubt that the picture that was published has no bearing on reality."

"Furthermore," Alsheikh added, "given the fact that names were included in the publication, I could say as someone who knows the relevant technological systems, that from that moment on, one can verify or deny and get a clear factual picture. If the publication was correct - it is indeed a deep shock to democracy, no less."