• Germany's news in English

German MPs vote to quiz Snowden in Moscow

AFP · 6 Jun 2014, 08:31

Published: 06 Jun 2014 08:31 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The parliamentary committee aims to assess the extent of surveillance by the US National Security Agency and its partners on German citizens and politicians, and whether German intelligence aided its activities.

Deputies from the panel voted to try to speak with Snowden before their next session on July 2nd, with a preliminary "informal" meeting in Moscow aimed at assessing how to proceed.

They said they would speak with Snowden's lawyer in the coming days to determine whether the American is willing to talk to them.

The vote came a day after Germany's federal prosecutors said they had opened a criminal investigation into alleged illegal US snooping on Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone, in a move that could further strain ties with Washington.

Snowden, regarded as a traitor by US President Barack Obama's administration and the subject of an arrest warrant, has spoken via video link to other bodies including the Council of Europe from Russia, where he has received temporary asylum.

The eight-member German panel voted unanimously last month to call Snowden as a witness.

But while the left-leaning opposition had called for Snowden to be invited to Germany to testify, Merkel's conservative party voiced concern that such a move could damage US ties.

Snowden has indicated in interviews that he would prefer to speak to the committee in Germany and said he has more to disclose about NSA activities than has already appeared in the media over the last year.

A deputy from the opposition Linke, Martina Renner, said MPs from her party and the Greens would not make the trip to Moscow as they had no interest in "political tourist excursions", and renewed their call for Snowden to be brought to Germany.

Story continues below…

Germans were outraged by revelations last year that the NSA eavesdropped on Merkel's conversations, as well as about wider US surveillance programmes of internet and phone communications.

Merkel is due to meet Obama on Friday at commemorations in France for the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

SEE ALSO: Top prosecutor probes US spying on Merkel

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd