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Greens' Ströbele visits Snowden

October 31, 2013

A German opposition Greens parliamentarian has visited the US whistleblower Edward Snowden in Moscow. Hans-Christian Ströbele said Snowden might help Germany probe alleged surveillance by the US National Security Agency.

German Greens lawmaker Hans-Christian Stroebele poses for a picture with fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden (L) in an undisclosed location in Moscow, October 31, 2013. Stroebele met Snowden in Moscow on Thursday, Stroebele's office said in a statement, and would give details of the meeting on Friday. Snowden passed on an envelope with a letter addressed to the German government, Germany's lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, and to the Federal Public Prosecutor (Generalbundesanwalt). The letter is to be disclosed during a news conference on Friday in Berlin. REUTERS/Handout (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Image: Reuters

Whistleblower ready to testify

German ARD public television reported Thursday that the veteran Greens politician Hans-Christian Ströbele had met the fugitive ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden in Moscow.

Ströbele told ARD's investigative program "Panorama" that Snowden had in principle indicated an interest in helping Germany to investigate the widening affair centered on the US National Security Agency (NSA).

Snowden had given the impression during their secret, three-hour conversation in Moscow that "he knew a lot," Ströbele told ARD's "Panorama".

Ströbele posted a picture of himself on his Twitter account with Snowden and said the encounter took place on Thursday.

The conversation had focused on the whether conditions could be created for Snowden to testify to German prosecutors or before a committee of inquiry of the German parliament, Ströbele added.

Last week, Chancellor Angela Merkel pressed President Barack Obama for answers to allegations that the US had eavesdropped on her mobile phone calls.

On Wednesday, her top foreign affairs and intelligence advisers flew to Washington to query US officials about the allegations.

Letter handed over

Ströbele's bureau in Berlin said Snowden had handed Ströbele a letter addressed to the German federal government, the Bundestag parliament and the German federal prosecutors office.

Ströbele would disclose the contents and consequences at a Friday press conference in Berlin, his bureau said.

The veteran Greens' parliamentarian is a member of the German parliament's committee for the oversight of Germany's intelligence agencies.

Snowden is wanted by Washington on espionage charges. He was recently given asylum for a year in Russia, on the condition that he stopped leaking US intelligence information.

ipj/dr (dpa, Reuters)