'Risks' Snowden's Lawyer Expresses Concerns about Testimony

Speculation has been brewing for weeks over whether Edward Snowden will testify against the NSA from Moscow or Germany. In a letter to a parliamentary investigative committee, his lawyer has said he will advise his client against speaking in Russia.

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Many would like to see whistleblower Edward Snowden as the key in the German parliamentary investigation into NSA spying.

Many would like to see whistleblower Edward Snowden as the key in the German parliamentary investigation into NSA spying.

With the German parliament currently investigating spying by the National Security Agency on Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone and the communications data of millions of German citizens, testimony by former NSA employee and whistleblower Edward Snowden was expected to take center stage in the proceedings. But a four-page letter from Snowden's German attorney, Wolfgang Kaleck, obtained by SPIEGEL, casts doubt on whether he will be able to provide testimony from Moscow for the parliamentary investigative committee.

In the letter, Kaleck specifies the "risks" associated with Snowden providing testimony in Russia, where, he notes, his client has only been provided with temporary political asylum.

"Given the conditions of his right of residence," Kaleck writes, "both I and his American lawyers will have to advise him against speaking in any manner from Moscow that might make his situation worse or possibly threaten his residency status."

No Formal Extradition Request

In a position statement the Berlin-based lawyer submitted to the heads of the NSA investigative committee last Wednesday, Kaleck also raised questions about what would happen if Snowden were to travel to Germany to appear before the body. In the letter, Kaleck asks whether his client should assume that he will be arrested upon arrival in Germany or whether there would be possible "obstacles to extradition" established by the German government. Snowden is wanted by the United States government on charges of espionage.

Kaleck also requested technical information regarding his client's "safe passage and unhindered departure" from Germany. Members of the investigative committee agreed to pass Kaleck's questions on to the federal government.

According to SPIEGEL research, so far no arrest warrant has been issued for Snowden in Germany and he would be free to move within the country -- at least as long as the US hasn't issued a formal extradition request. However, it would also be possible for the US to issue an extradition request before Snowden even had the chance to leave the airport terminal.

Only days ago, NSA investigative committee chairman Patrick Sensburg of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union party suggested the possibility of questioning Snowden in Moscow at the embassy of a third country, like Switzerland.


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Fritz Oz 05/20/2014
1. Snowden Testimony
He will be digging a deeper hole for himself if he testifies anywhere.
peskyvera 05/20/2014
2. optional
Snowden must not risk his asylum in Russia. He isn't stupid and knows this.
Larry 05/21/2014
3. Snowden visit
Of what use will it be to investigate those who will lie at a moments notice and are protected by impenetrable secrecy? Investigating and getting any positive result of change will be near impossible. Better to save your time and money and take another, more productive approach. I can see by the number of posts to this article that the sheep have all rolled over and are ready for another dose. No guts anywhere in the world these days I guess.
spon-facebook-10000672435 06/05/2014
4. Germany Testamony
He will not last 24 hrs in Germany, it will be a black bag snatch job by the NSA and he will be in Guantanamo so fast it will make Merkel Stutter.
spon-facebook-689534672 06/05/2014
5. optional
He will not go to Germany, he would instantly be arrested and sent to the U.S.
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