1 November 2013, 14:30

Snowden can provide testimony to Germany only in Russia - Kucherena

Snowden can provide testimony to Germany only in Russia - Kucherena

US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden will not be able to leave Russia to be questioned by German prosecutors in a spying probe but can provide testimony inside the country, his lawyer Anatoly Kucherena says.

"Snowden will not go to Germany. This is not possible because he has no right to cross Russian borders," Anatoly Kucherena said, AFP reports citing Echo Moscow.

"Within the framework of international agreements Snowden can give testimony in Russia but this should be decided by the German authorities," he added.

Kucherena also said that Snowden "is ready to work with everyone".

"He is free to decide who to talk to and when," Kucherena said responding to a question about Snowden's readiness to work with Germany on the investigation into the case involving the tapping of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's phone by the US National Security Agency.

Snowden ready to give testimony in Merkel tapping - Member of the Bundestag

Edward Snowden is ready to talk with the General Prosecutor of Germany or with the parliamentary commission to give them the evidence in relation to the possible wiretapping of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said deputy of ARD Bundestag in an interview with a German TV channel. Hans-Christian Stroebele met on Thursday in Moscow with fugitive of the intelligence services.

The fact that the US intelligence services could have listened to Angela Merkel's mobile phone became known last week. The journalists who have worked with Snowden’s data and appealed to the German Government for explanations initiated the scandal. A number of German politicians suggested that prosecutors might involve the ex-CIA officer as a witness in the case of tapping the Chancellor.

"He expressed his readiness to help in clarifying the situation. Certain prerequisites should be made for that. This is what we were talking about for so long, "- said Stroebele. According to him, during the conversation Snowden has made it clear that he knows a lot."

German Greens lawmaker Hans-Christian Stroebele met fugitive former US spy agency contractor Edward Snowden in Moscow on Thursday, his office said in a statement, and would give details of the meeting on Friday.

It said Snowden, an ex-National Security Agency (NSA) contractor contractor who disclosed secret US internet and phone surveillance programmes, had given Stroebele a letter addressed to the German government and federal public prosecutor.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel sent her top foreign affairs and intelligence advisers to Washington this week to query officials about allegations her mobile phone was tapped by the NSA, which have sparked outrage in Germany.

Germany may summon Edward Snowden as witness in Merkel phone tapping case

The German Federal Prosecutor’s Office may summon former CIA employee Edward Snowden to be a witness in the case of phone tapping against German Chancellor Angela Merkel, German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger told the Deutschlandfunk radio on Sunday.

"If our suspicions prove correct and a case is opened, the German Federal Prosecutor’s Office will have to consider the possibility of interrogating Snowden as a witness," she said, adding that there would be no major obstacles to that effect.

In that case, if Snowden came to Germany, the German government could defy Washington’s demand for his extradition, the minister said.

At the same time, Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger called for the speedy signing of an agreement with the United States which would rule out mutual espionage and be open for other countries to join in.

German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said, for his part, that illegal phone tapping was a crime and that the culprits should be made accountable.

Voice of Russia, AFP, Interfax, RIA, Reuters

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