Date: 2 Nov 2013 12:23:52 +0100
From: “Jan Kempf” <Jan.Kempf@ruhr-uni-bochum.de>
Subject: <nettime> Germany may invite Edward Snowden as witness in NSA
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8;
I would like to share the the report of The Guardian with you.
You will also find the original report here:
Germany may invite Edward Snowden as witness in NSA inquiry
Green politician meets US whistleblower in Moscow to discuss
possibility of helping parliamentary investigation into US spying
Edward Snowden may be invited to Germany as a witness against the US
National Security Agency.
Action is under way in the Bundestag to commission a parliamentary
investigation into US intelligence service spying and a German
politician met Snowden in Moscow on Thursday to discuss the matter.
Hans-Christian Str?bele, the veteran Green party candidate for Berlin’s
Kreuzberg district, reported that the US whistleblower was prepared in
principle to assist a parliamentary inquiry.
But Str?bele warned of the legal complications that would come with
Snowden leaving Russia, where he has been granted asylum after leaking
documents on mass NSA surveillance. Witnesses to parliamentary enquiries
are usually given the financial support and legal protection required
for them to travel to Germany.
During the meeting, Snowden handed Str?bele a letter addressed to the
German chancellor, Angela Merkel, which will be read out publicly on
The latest developments will encourage those who hope Germany may
eventually grant political asylum to Snowden. In June, his application
for asylum there was rejected by the foreign ministry because, legally,
he had to apply for asylum in person and on German soil. If Snowden was
brought to Germany as a witness, he could meet these requirements.
Activists are said to be considering other means of getting Snowden to
Germany. Under paragraph 22 of the German residence law, Snowden could
be granted a residence permit “if the interior ministry declares it to
be in Germany’s political interest”. After reports of Merkel’s mobile
phone being hacked by the NSA, such conditions could be said to apply.
Some German politicians and newspaper columnists have backed calls for
Snowden to be invited as a witness. The justice minister, Sabine
Leuheusser-Schnarrenberger, told the Passauer Neue Presse newspaper: “If
the allegations build up and lead to an investigation, one could think
about calling in Snowden as a witness.”
Thomas Oppermann, of the Social Democrats, said: “Snowden’s claims
appear to be credible, while the US government has blatantly lied to us
on this matter. That’s why Snowden could be an important witness, also
in clearing up the surveillance of the chancellor’s mobile.”
In S?ddeutsche Zeitung, the columnist Heribert Prantl wrote: “Granting
asylum to Snowden could be a way of restoring Germany’s damaged
The Bundestag will hold a special session to discuss NSA spying on 18
November. The Green party and the leftwing Die Linke have been leading
calls for that session to result in a parliamentary investigation.
Latest reports indicate that the Social Democratic party will support
such a move, which would mean it would most likely go ahead.
Jan Kempf, S?dstra?e 8, 48153 M?nster, Germany