Mohammed Ben Salman suspected of hacking Jeff Bezos

American billionaire Jeff Bezos and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Ben Salman in Riyadh in November 2016.
American billionaire Jeff Bezos and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Ben Salman, in Riyadh, in November 2016. BANDAR AL-JALOUD / PALAIS ROYAL SOUDIEN / AFP

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Ben Salman hacked the phone of American billionaire Jeff Bezos, boss of Amazon and Washington Post, through his WhatsApp private messaging account? This incredible spy scenario was accredited, Wednesday January 22, by two independent experts of the United Nations, who demanded the opening of a "Immediate investigation by the United States and other competent authorities". "The information we have received suggests a possible involvement of the crown prince in the surveillance of Mr. Bezos, with the aim of influencing, if not suffocating (the cover of) Saudi news through Washington Post "said Agnès Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur on summary executions and extrajudicial killings, and David Kaye, the special rapporteur on freedom of expression.

Potentially explosive, these allegations raise suspicions about the involvement of Mohammed Ben Salman in a campaign to monitor and intimidate Saudi dissidents, which led to the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a regular contributor to the Washington Post, at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in October 2018. "These allegations of hacking are a wake-up call for all those who have been able to exchange contact details with the Crown Prince. The prince's account is the Trojan horse ", commented after World, Agnès Callamard.

"Absurd" Claims

In the eyes of UN experts, an investigation must therefore be carried out on "The direct, personal and ongoing involvement of the crown prince in efforts to target alleged opponents". They also consider that the circumstances of this alleged hacking reinforce the need for a thorough investigation into the "Allegations that the crown prince had ordered, encouraged or, at least, had knowledge of the preparations" of the operation to kill Jamal Khashoggi. The American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), like Agnès Callamard, who had already been mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate the circumstances of the journalist's death, directly linked Prince Mohammed Ben Salman at the murder.

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These allegations were vehemently denied by Riyadh. In December 2019, a Saudi court exonerated the entourage of Mohammed Ben Salman from all responsibility in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, in a trial described as "parody". Saudi authorities on Wednesday again denied any involvement in the hacking of billionaire Jeff Bezos' phone. Qualifying these allegations as'Absurd', the Saudi Embassy in Washington requested an investigation, "So that all the light can be shed on these facts".


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