13:49 GMT25 February 2020
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    The Russian involvement in Edward Snowden’s leaks on the BND targeting European authorities and individuals at NSA’s request should be qualified as unsubstantiated rumors, August Hanning, former head of the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND), told Sputnik Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Last week, media reports emerged claiming that Germany’s intelligence BND believed Snowden was cooperating with the Kremlin and Russian intelligence services.

    "There are no proof and no evidences. From my point of view, these are still rumors," Hanning said on the sidelines of the fifth Moscow Conference on International Security.

    On Monday, Snowden’s lawyer Anatoly Kucherena denied corresponding media reports adding that Edward has never broken his principle of not cooperating with any governments or any structures of any states.

    Hanning added that some aspects of Snowden’s leaks are "a bit confusing". "We have seen all these papers confirming NSA was spying on Germany, France, against our Chancellor but have not seen any information confirming spying on China or Russia and this is a little bit strange because, to my view, NSA was very busy towards Russia and China."

    Former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden, who made revelations about US global surveillance through leaking classified documents, was granted temporary asylum in Russia for one year in 2013 and later received a three-year residence permit. His whereabouts in Russia are a closely-guarded secret.

    Snowden's data leaks could cost him as much as 30 years in prison in the United States, where he is wanted on charges of espionage and theft of government property.


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    German Federal Intelligence Service (BND), NSA, August Hanning, Russia
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