France 'shocked' by claims Morocco spied on reporters
France said it was outraged on Monday over allegations that Morocco's intelligence services used Israeli malware to spy on dozens of French journalists, calling revelations in the media "extremely shocking".
A joint investigation by several Western media outlets revealed Sunday that numerous activists, journalists, executives and politicians around the world had been spied on using cellphone malware developed by Israeli firm NSO.
The investigation showed Morocco among a dozen countries that used the software Pegasus, with Rabat allegedly spying on critics of the kingdom both in Morocco and in former colonial power France.
"These are extremely shocking acts and, if proven, are extremely serious," government spokesman Gabriel Attal told French public radio.
Among those targeted was the French investigative news site Mediapart and the satirical weekly Canard Enchaine, both of which have reported on rights abuses in Morocco.
They announced on Monday that they planned to file criminal complaints over the alleged intrusions.
"The spying on my phone and that of my colleague @LenaBred leads directly to the Moroccan intelligence services, as part of the crackdown on independent journalism and social movements," Mediapart's founder Edwy Plenel tweeted.
Attal said France was "extremely attached to press freedom" and that any attempt to curtain journalists' freedom to report the news was "very serious".
"There will of course be investigations and explanations will be requested," he said.