2 November 2013, 14:41

Snowden is free to cooperate with German law enforcement - Kremlin

Dmitry Peskov

Dmitry Peskov

Dmitry Peskov

The Kremlin believes former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is free to cooperate with German law enforcement agencies as concerns reports on the tapping of Chancellor Angela Merkel's telephone conversations by U.S. special services, Kommersant said in a report on a Saturday issue.

"These materials [published by German media] were circulated not from Russia," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Kommersant.

"Nobody allows him to violate the Russian president's condition not to do harm to the US But he is on Russian territory after lawfully acquiring temporary asylum, and therefore he is free to meet with anybody, and we can't obstruct this," Peskov said.

Snowden himself had said earlier that he had passed all his archive to Western journalists while in Hong Kong and had no access to it any longer, Kommersant said.

It was reported earlier that Snowden expressed willingness to assist the German authorities in investigating the tapping of Merkel's telephone conversations.

"I hope that, when the difficulties of this humanitarian situation have been resolved, I will be able to cooperate in the responsible finding of fact regarding reports in the media," Snowden said in a letter supposedly addressed to Merkel, which Bundestag member Hans-Christian Strobele publicized on Friday after coming home from Moscow.

The Suddeutsche Zeitung reported earlier referring to a document passed by Snowden that Merkel's telephone conversations could have been tapped from the US Embassy in Berlin.

Snowden is not allowed to damage US interests – Peskov

The former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who’s been granted temporary asylum in Russia, is not allowed to violate Russian President Vladimir Putin’s condition that he end all anti-American activity, the Russian President’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov has told the Moscow-based Kommersant newspaper.

The European media reported late last week about the US special services’ large-scale tapping of telephone numbers and email surveillance of both rank-and-file Europeans and the key EU leaders. The reporters quoted classified information that they had allegedly got from Snowden. The German publications Der Spiegel and Die Weltspecifically said that the US intelligence services had hacked the German Chancellor’s mobile phone.

It was not from Russia that the German media received that information, the Russian President’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov told the Kommersantdaily. Snowden is not allowed to violate the Russian President’s condition. But Edward Snowden has been officially granted temporary asylum in Russia, so he is free to meet anyone, Peskov added.

Snowden has repeatedly pointed out that he handed over all of his archive to western reporters when still in Hong Kong, so now he has no access to that information.

Snowden willing to testify before US Congress - German MP

A German lawmaker who met US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden said Friday the fugitive had told him he would be ready to testify to the US Congress to shed light on "possibly serious offences".

A German lawmaker who met US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden said Friday the fugitive had told him he would be ready to testify to the US Congress to shed light on "possibly serious offences".

"Mr Snowden didn't appear to me as anti-American or an enemy of America or some such," Hans-Christian Stroebele, an opposition Greens party deputy told reporters.

"Quite the opposite," he added, a day after a surprise meeting with Snowden in Moscow over his allegation that Washington tapped Chancellor Angela Merkel's phone for years.

"He has always emphasised, also to my question whether he is ready to give information before the German parliament in Germany... that first he would prefer to present the facts in front of the US Congress, before a committee of the US Congress and explain," Stroebele said.

"He sees his message in the US as not only shedding light on undesirable developments but possibly serious offences and says he can do that, he's in the position to," he added.

Snowden is also ready to talk in Russia to German prosecutors investigating US espionage practices, his lawyer said on Friday.

Washington has revoked Snowden's passport and demanded his extradition to face criminal charges in the United States for leaking top-secret documents about the National Security Agency's activities.

German MP meets Snowden

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

Hans-Christian Stroebele, a legislator for the opposition Greens 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 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.

Voice of Russia, AFP, RIA Novosti, Interfax

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