1 November 2013, 16:15

Snowden to Merkel: 'my government continues to treat dissent as defection'

Snowden to Merkel: 'my government continues to treat dissent as defection'

Former CIA and NSA contractor, Edward Snowden has written to Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel about the controversy of leaked US surveillance secrets. "Though the outcome of my efforts has been demonstrably positive, my government continues to treat dissent as defection, and seeks to criminalize political speech with felony charges that provide no defense," he says in the letter.

 Photo: ©Twitter@ronzheimer

"I look forward to speaking with you in your country once the situation is resolved and thank you for your efforts to uphold international law, which protects us all," Snowden wrote in a letter.

The German authorities were prepared to meet Edward Snowden, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said Friday.

"If Snowden is willing to talk to German authorities then we will find ways," he said.

When Snowden wanted to provide information, "we will willingly accept it," said Friedrich.

A German lawmaker who met Edward Snowden in Moscow on Thursday says the NSA leaker has offered to testify in front of the US Congress. "He didn't present himself as an enemy of America, quite the opposite," German MP Hans-Christian Stroebele told reporters in Berlin today.

German MP meets Snowden

A German lawmaker said he met Edward Snowden in Moscow on Thursday and the fugitive former US spy agency contractor said he was willing to come to Germany to assist with investigations into alleged US surveillance of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Hans-Christian Stroebele, a legislator for the opposition Green party, told German broadcaster ARD it was clear Snowden "knew a lot" and that he would share details of their surprise meeting including a letter from Snowden addressed to the German government and chief federal prosecutor on Friday.

"He made it clear he knows a lot and that as long as the National Security Agency (NSA) blocks investigations...he is prepared to come to Germany and give testimony but the conditions must be discussed," said Stroebele.

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 testify from 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.

Voice of Russia, dpa, Interfax, AFP, Reuters

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