BERLIN May 27 Former U.S intelligence
contractor Edward Snowden has new information to share with a
German parliamentary inquiry investigating U.S. surveillance and
he believes all Germans' rights were violated, he has told a
German lawmakers on a committee investigating the spying
decided earlier this month they wanted to question Snowden, but
they could not agree on whether he should be invited to testify
in person or remotely.
Snowden, who risks being arrested and extradited if he sets
foot in any U.S.-allied country, told Stern magazine he had been
"personally involved with information stemming from Germany" and
that in that process the "constitutional rights of every citizen
in Germany were infringed".
He had used systems able to intercept large amounts of data,
he said, adding: "I'd be surprised if German lawmakers learnt
nothing new if I laid out all the information."
Snowden said Germany's foreign intelligence agency, the BND,
had used the same methods as the Americans and that might be the
reason why some in Berlin were reluctant to hear him.
He was charged last year in the United States with theft of
government property, unauthorised communication of national
defence information and wilful communication of classified
intelligence to an unauthorised person.
An option would be for him to testify from abroad but the
German opposition argues that Snowden can only express himself
freely if he is in Germany. Snowden's German lawyer has ruled
this out, saying it could jeopardise his stay in Russia.
Angela Merkel's conservatives have so far rejected quizzing
Snowden in Berlin, fearing it could further damage relations
with Washington which have suffered from the revelations that
U.S. spies tapped the German chancellor's own phone.
The centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), who share power with
Merkel's conservatives in a 'grand coalition', have said they
are open to questioning Snowden in Germany or Russia.
The scale of the U.S. surveillance shocked Germany, where it
is a sensitive subject because of the abuses by the Gestapo in
the Nazi era and by the Stasi in communist East Germany.
(Reporting by Alexandra Hudson; Editing by Stephen Brown and