Saudi Arabia hacked Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the world's richest man, to gain access to his personal data, said to an investigator.
Bezos hired Gavin De Becker
"Our investigators and several experts have concluded that the Saudis had access to Bezos' phone, and more private information, "De Becker wrote on The Daily Beast website on Saturday.
De Becker linked the hack to extensive coverage by The Washington Post newspaper, which is owned by Bezos, of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul last year.
"It's clear that MBS considers The Washington Post to be a major enemy," De Becker wrote, referring to the powerful King Prince's powerful Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom the US Senate, after a closed-door briefing by the CIA, named as "responsible" for the murder.
Washington Post owner accuses US tabloid of 'blackmail' 3:03
Saudi Arabia has been stressed that the crown prince was not invo
Riyadh initially said it had no knowledge of Khashoggi's fate, but later blamed the murder on rogue Saudi agents.
Demands and blackmail
Last month, Bezos accused The National Enquirer's owner of "extortion and blackmail" with the threat of publishing the "intimate photos" of Bezos and his mistress unless he says that he is in a political and political context.
De Becker said The parent company of the National Enquirer, American Media Inc. (AMI), has privately demanded that they find any evidence of "electronic eavesdropping or hacking in their news gathering process."
An eight-page AMI contract sent to Bezos and De Becker, therefore, wanted to acknowledge that their stories were not "instigated, dictated or influenced in any way by external forces, political or otherwise".
"As of today, it's unclear to what degree, if any, AMI what's aware of the details," De Becker wrote.
A spokesman for the Saudi embassy in Washington said:
In February, the kingdom's minister of state for foreign affairs said Saudi Arabia had "absolutely nothing to do" with the National Enquirer's reporting on the affair.
A representative for AMI did not immediately respond to a request for comment. AMI has previously said that it is lawfully used in the reporting of Bezos' story.
De Becker did not specify which part of the Saudi government he blamed for the hack, and gave a few details about the investigation
Bezos has been criticized repeatedly by US President Donald Trump for his newspaper, The Washington Post, and his coverage of his presidency.
In a medium blog post last month, Bezos pointed to AMI's CEO David Pecker's previous cooperation with Trump, including payments made to suppress negative stories, currently under investigation by Federal Prosecutors.
Al Jazeera and news agencies