UN experts: Jeff Bezos phone hack shows link to Saudi prince

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — United Nations experts say Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos’ phone was hacked after he received a file sent from an account used by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The two experts called Wednesday for an “immediate investigation” by the United States into information they received from Bezos’ private investigators that assessed his phone was likely hacked after receiving a video file from the Saudi prince’s WhatsApp account in 2018 after the two exchanged phone numbers at a dinner in California.

Saudi Arabia has called the allegations “absolutely illegitimate.”

At a time when Saudi Arabia was supposedly investigating the killing of Saudi critic and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi and prosecuting those it deemed responsible, “it was clandestinely waging a massive online campaign against Mr. Bezos and Amazon targeting him principally as the owner of The Washington Post,” the experts said in their statement.

The UN human rights body detailed key information related to the Khashoggi killing and the Bezos hack.

The billionaire said in a February 2019 blog post that Saudi Arabia considers him an enemy because of the Washington Post’s coverage of the Khashoggi slaying.

Bezos suggested that the hack snared private texts and intimate photos used as part of a blackmail scheme by the National Enquirer.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved. Gray Media Group, Inc., contributed to this report.