The Spanish government yesterday categorically denied illegally spying on Catalan separatists, after a rights group accused Madrid of having targeted their mobile phones with Pegasus spyware. At least 65 Catalan separatists were targeted, including the region’s current leader, by the spyware made by Israel’s NSO Group, according to a report published yesterday by Citizen Lab research centre at the University of Toronto. The group said almost all of the spying took place between 2017 and 2020 in the wake of the independence bid by Catalonia that plunged Spain into its worst political crisis in years. ‘The government has nothing to hide,’ spokeswoman Isabel Rodríguez told a news conference, when asked about the accusations following a weekly cabinet meeting. Spain is ‘a democratic country and a state of law where we do not spy, we do not intercept conversations, we do not wiretap, except within the framework of the law,’ she added.