Mumbai: A new digital forensics report has revealed that the phone belonging to Rona Wilson, one of the accused persons in the Bhima Koregaon was infiltrated using NSO Group's Pegasus spyware a year before his arrest.
According to the forensic analysis of the device by Amnesty International, Wilson was a victim of "surveillance and incriminating document delivery" for close to a year before his arrest in June 2018.
Wilson is among the 13 activists and academicians still in jail for allegedly conspiring to set off caste violence in a village near Pune in 2018.
As per reports, the digital forensics firm Arsenal Consulting said Rona Wilson's Apple phone was not just selected for surveillance by a client of Israel's NSO Group but was also successfully compromised on many occasions.
The analysis showed that two backups of the iPhone 6s belonging to Wilson had digital traces showing infection by the Pegasus surveillance tool. The Indian government has neither confirmed nor denied that it is an NSO Group client.
Meanwhile, V Suresh, National General Secretary of People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) said the new findings show compelling evidence in the case.
"Now there is compelling evidence. We are exploring all legal possibilities to validate these findings based on the new type of electronic evidence," V Suresh told PTI.
The Pegasus spyware, developed by Israeli technology company NSO Group, has been at the centre of a debate on privacy violations and illegal surveillance.
The firm has maintained it only sells its products to government law enforcement and intelligence clients to help them monitor security threats.