Snowden offers to testify in Germany about U.S. spying

Nov. 1, 2013 at 1:58 PM

BERLIN, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Whistle-blower Edward Snowden is willing to travel to Germany to testify about U.S. spying on the country, a German lawmaker said Friday.

Hans-Christian Stroebele, a member of Parliament representing the Greens, released a letter from Snowden, a former contractor for the U.S. National Security Agency who now has temporary asylum in Russia, the Russian broadcaster RT reported. Stroebele said Germany would have to offer Snowden refuge because his arrangement with Russia would expire if he leaves the country.

Stroebele, a lawyer and longtime civil liberties activist, said he met with Snowden in Moscow, where he received the letter addressed to Prime Minister Angela Merkel, the British newspaper The Guardian reported. One of the revelations from Snowden's leaking is that the NSA hacked Merkel's cellphone.

Snowden, who faces criminal charges in the United States, said in his letter he would prefer to testify before the U.S. Congress, RT said.

"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. However, speaking the truth is not a crime," Snowden said.

Snowden sought asylum in Germany earlier and was advised he could only apply once he was in the country.

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