Today, the British Supreme Court is holding a hearing, via video technology, to consider a lawsuit filed by the Saudi activist and dissident Ghanem Al-Dosari against the Saudi government for allegedly hacking his mobile phone.
A ruling is not expected today, at the two-day session in London. A hearing will consider the Saudi government’s objection to holding such a trial in a British court, as it is a foreign government with immunity.
The Saudi activist had filed a compensation claim for personal damages resulting from the misuse of his information, which “the Saudi government collected by using the well-known Israeli spyware – Pegasus – to penetrate his phone.”
Al-Dosari had said that British authorities warned him against trying to target him in 2018.
Early last year, the British Supreme Court recognized Al-Dosari’s right to file a case against the Saudi government, which in turn says today that it enjoys immunity from being tried in foreign courts.
Al-Dosari has lived in London since 2003 and is believed to be living under the protection of the British police, and is known for his criticism of the ruling family in Saudi Arabia, especially King Salman bin Abdulaziz and his Crown Prince Mohammed, through satirical programs on the Internet.
Al-Dosari enjoys a large following on Twitter, YouTube and other social networking sites.
And in February of last year, the British newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, quoted Al-Dosari as fearing that he would meet the fate of the Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed in his country’s consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul and his body was mutilated, in early October of 2018.
Al-Dosari received an offer to write a weekly article for the American newspaper, The Washington Post, to succeed Khashoggi, but he refused, fearing that he would meet the same fate.
Al-Dosari said at the time: “Of course I would like to, but there are many things to think about, I am venturing to be the second Jamal Khashoggi.”
He added that his phone was hacked in the second half of 2018, and that he “suspected of hacking his phone when he failed several times to update the (iOS) system, so he sent it to a university in Canada for analysis in the same laboratory that analyzed the phone of the Saudi dissident Omar Abdulaziz, and the result was that Both phones were hacked by two similar types of spyware, implanted by a spoofed DHL delivery link sent from the same digital server in Saudi Arabia.”