Jan Kempf on Sat, 2 Nov 2013 14:45:58 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Germany may invite Edward Snowden as witness in NSA inquiry

I would like to share the the report of The Guardian with you.

You will also find the original report here:


Germany may invite Edward Snowden as witness in NSA inquiry
Green politician meets US whistleblower in Moscow to discuss 
possibility of helping parliamentary investigation into US spying

Edward Snowden may be invited to Germany as a witness against the US 
National Security Agency.

Action is under way in the Bundestag to commission a parliamentary 
investigation into US intelligence service spying and a German 
politician met Snowden in Moscow on Thursday to discuss the matter.

Hans-Christian StrÃbele, the veteran Green party candidate for Berlin's 
Kreuzberg district, reported that the US whistleblower was prepared in 
principle to assist a parliamentary inquiry.

But StrÃbele warned of the legal complications that would come with 
Snowden leaving Russia, where he has been granted asylum after leaking 
documents on mass NSA surveillance. Witnesses to parliamentary enquiries 
are usually given the financial support and legal protection required 
for them to travel to Germany.

During the meeting, Snowden handed StrÃbele a letter addressed to the 
German chancellor, Angela Merkel, which will be read out publicly on 
Friday afternoon.

The latest developments will encourage those who hope Germany may 
eventually grant political asylum to Snowden. In June, his application 
for asylum there was rejected by the foreign ministry because, legally, 
he had to apply for asylum in person and on German soil. If Snowden was 
brought to Germany as a witness, he could meet these requirements.

Activists are said to be considering other means of getting Snowden to 
Germany. Under paragraph 22 of the German residence law, Snowden could 
be granted a residence permit "if the interior ministry declares it to 
be in Germany's political interest". After reports of Merkel's mobile 
phone being hacked by the NSA, such conditions could be said to apply.

Some German politicians and newspaper columnists have backed calls for 
Snowden to be invited as a witness. The justice minister, Sabine 
Leuheusser-Schnarrenberger, told the Passauer Neue Presse newspaper: "If 
the allegations build up and lead to an investigation, one could think 
about calling in Snowden as a witness."

Thomas Oppermann, of the Social Democrats, said: "Snowden's claims 
appear to be credible, while the US government has blatantly lied to us 
on this matter. That's why Snowden could be an important witness, also 
in clearing up the surveillance of the chancellor's mobile."

In SÃddeutsche Zeitung, the columnist Heribert Prantl wrote: "Granting 
asylum to Snowden could be a way of restoring Germany's damaged 

The Bundestag will hold a special session to discuss NSA spying on 18 
November. The Green party and the leftwing Die Linke have been leading 
calls for that session to result in a parliamentary investigation. 
Latest reports indicate that the Social Democratic party will support 
such a move, which would mean it would most likely go ahead.

Jan Kempf, SÃdstraÃe 8, 48153 MÃnster, Germany

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