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Saudi Arabia suspected of hacking the phone of Amazon boss Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, September 13, 2018. Cliff Owen / AP

It’s an incredible spy story, the development of which could turn out to be explosive. Has Saudi Arabia hacked the phone of Amazon founder and boss Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post ?

A report signed by two United Nations officials, to be released Wednesday, January 22, establishes that there is sufficient evidence to establish it and call for investigations by Washington and Riyadh.

The report will be published by Agnès Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, and David Kaye, responsible for freedom of expression, as part of a larger investigation, the findings of which are due to be released in June.

A video on the WhatsApp account of “MBS”

It corroborates the conclusions reached by the specialists mandated by Jeff Bezos. Amazon boss’s cell phone was hacked in 2018 after receiving a fake video sent from a WhatsApp messaging account owned by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Ben Salman, nicknamed “MBS,” according to these private investigators. British The Guardian.

The two men had a seemingly friendly WhatsApp exchange when, on 1st May 2018, the unsolicited file was sent, according to anonymous sources daily.

Read also Jeff Bezos' phone allegedly hacked by Saudis, investigator says

FTI Consulting told the Reuters news agency that exceptional volumes of data were downloaded from Jeff Bezos' mobile phone in the wake of the reception of this video. The Guardian has no knowledge of what was taken from the phone or how it was used.

The specter of the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi

The contents of the report which the United Nations is about to publish is likely to further aggravate relations between Mr. Bezos and the Saudi kingdom, which has admitted its responsibility in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who wrote regularly in the Washington Post, property of the American billionaire, and whose murder was later the subject of abundant coverage by the Post.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Khashoggi case: the entourage of “MBS” cleared by the Saudi justice

The Saudi Embassy in the United States has refused to respond to the Guardian but denied all of this information on Twitter. “Press reports suggesting that the kingdom was behind the hacking of Mr. Bezos' phone are absurd. We demand an investigation into these accusations so that the truth can be established. “

There is no doubt that the shock wave will be great, from Wall Street to Silicon Valley. It could also undermine MBS’s efforts to lure more western investors to Saudi Arabia, where it has promised to transform the kingdom economically, even as it oversaw a crackdown on detractors and rivals.

The intimate texting affair

As the Guardian the disclosure of this information is likely to raise difficult questions for the kingdom about the circumstances surrounding the way the American tabloid National Enquirer had published intimate details of Bezos’s private life, including text messages, nine months after Jamal Khashoggi’s assassination.

The scandal weekly had published in late January 2019 Passionate texts exchanged between Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez, a former TV presenter with whom he had an extramarital relationship. A hacking of private messages that Gavin de Becker, the investigator in charge of this affair by the chief executive officer of Amazon, had already allotted at the time to the Saudi authorities.

” It's clear that “MBS hold it Washington Post for a major enemy “, assured the investigator, directly linking this hacking to the abundant coverage by the Post of the murder of Mr. Khashoggi.

This new twist could therefore also lead to a re-examination of what the crown prince and his entourage were doing in the months preceding the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

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