Germany: Prepared to speak with Snowden
The comments by Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich came after a German opposition lawmaker traveled to Moscow and met Snowden. The lawmaker, Hans-Christian Stroebele, said he received a letter from Snowden to German authorities that he planned to present later Friday.
Stroebele, a Green party lawmaker, is a prominent critic of the NSA's alleged activities.
"If the message is that Mr. Snowden wants to give us information, then we will be glad to accept that," Friedrich said, according to the newspaper Die Zeit. He said that "we will find a way to make a conversation possible if Mr. Snowden is prepared to talk to German officials."
Friedrich's spokesman, Jens Teschke, confirmed the comments, saying "we want clarification and we want further information."
He added, however, that he understood Friedrich to be referring primarily to the possibility of officials speaking to Snowden in Russia, where he has been granted asylum.
Germany is seeking answers from U.S. authorities to allegations Merkel's cellphone was monitored, which prompted the German chancellor to complain to Obama last week. Merkel's foreign policy adviser and intelligence coordinator held talks on the issue in Washington on Wednesday.
Germany's government, along with many others, rejected an asylum request from Snowden earlier this year.
Teschke said Friday that, if Snowden now wanted asylum in Germany, he would have to come to the country and then apply for it - but noted that Germany has an extradition treaty with the United States.
German federal prosecutors are looking into whether there are grounds to investigate the allegations regarding Merkel's cellphone, but it is unclear when they might decide. Germany's parliament is expected to discuss the NSA's alleged activities Nov. 18 and lawmakers may decide to set up a commission of inquiry.
Thomas Oppermann, a lawmaker who heads a parliamentary panel that oversees German intelligence, said on Twitter that if there's an opportunity to hear Snowden as a witness without endangering him and without "completely ruining" German-U.S. relations, it should be taken. Oppermann is a member of the center-left Social Democrats, who are negotiating with Merkel's conservatives to form a new German government after September elections.
Snowden was granted asylum in Russia in August after being stuck at a Moscow airport for more than a month following his arrival there from Hong Kong. The 30-year-old faces espionage charges in the U.S.
Sources and more information:
Email Print BERLIN (AP) Germany's top security official said Friday he will try and find a way for Edward Snowden to speak to German officials if the former National Security Agency contractor is willing to provide details about the NSA's activities including the alleged surveillance of Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone.
( via apnews.myway.com )
properREDeye wrote November 2, 2013 2:24:16 PM CET
I have a feeling we are only scratching the surface of the information he got away with, no wonder America was frantically desperate to get him back. If they have been spying on diplomats their political legitimacy is called into question and their international credibility washed away in an instant. They will have proved they are prepared to extend acts of war into the privacy of their political allies lives and homes so who in their right mind would deal with them?! It feels to me like Europe have had to stand down because of their close ties to the US but there is a lot of interest and discontent about the mass surveillance. Germany feels that it is backed into a corner where it can't afford not to talk to Snowden any more, their security has been humiliated internationally after Chancellor Merkel's security and privacy has been publically revealed as compromised and they are clearly not going to get the truth from Washington. My guess is the US have been playing the stock market with immorally illegally obtained information in a desperate attempt to prevent the economy from collapsing... a far stretch from preventing terrorists but amply covered by their in house policies on national interests. And what, they want to monitor the entire world's communications because of a hand full of terrorists?! Ridiculous waste of money, resources and freedoms. If there is any diplomacy left in this kleptcratic world it will be prevented, clearly defined, internationally outlawed and dismantled before the entire planet loses free speech!!!
Almc224 wrote November 2, 2013 12:02:34 PM CET
Mr. Snowden has lost weight. Using a hand down jacket. Being a hero and a patriot isn't easy for the man. Hang in there man.