Parliament’s national security committee declared its meeting on the issue of Pegasus, an Israeli spy software, confidential for 50 years, the chairman of the committee said on Monday.
János Stummer of Jobbik said Interior Minister Sándor Pintér and Pál Völner, a state secretary of the justice ministry, attended the meeting, as well as four ruling party members of the committee. Opposition members had proposed setting up an investigative subcommittee, but the majority voted against the motion, Stummer said. The government officials “did not deny that politicians and journalists have been put under surveillance,” Stummer said.
Zsolt Molnár, the committee’s Socialist member, said “the meeting’s only merit was that it had quorum”. Lacking unequivocal responses, “the suspicion of obfuscation and secrecy grew”, he said. Without an investigative committee, “we can only debate issues of faith,” he said. Péter Ungár of LMP said that while national security was an important national interest, “it would be good to know how many times [the spy software was used] in the country’s interest and how many times in [Prime Minister] Viktor Orbán’s”.