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German gov't turns down testimony of Snowden

The German government on Wednesday rejected a testimony of whistleblower Edward Snowden through the German NSA panel, local media reported, citing a conclusion of the draft opinion of the government for the parliamentary committee.

According to information from the German media, a 27-page paper indicated that an invitation for the former U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) contractor would jeopardize the foreign and security interests of Germany considerably.

The paper will be delivered to the inquiry committee of the Bundestag, lower house of German parliament on Friday.

Meanwhile, considering "Snowden is accused of espionage and theft of state secrets in the United States, if a residence permit is granted, it is likely to have serious and lasting burden on relationship with the United States of America," said the German government.

The government also worried that the Unite States "restricts at least temporarily" intelligence cooperation with Germany after the testimony from Snowden, local media said.

Moreover, it is also "possible that Snowden would be extradited to the United States when entering Germany" because of the extradition request from the United States.

However, the German government holds a testimony of Snowden in his Russian asylum possible.

But a testimony of Snowden at the German embassy in Moscow would have to be clarified, if this would endanger his immigration status in Russia, according to the federal government.

However, Snowden expressed his willingness over two weeks ago to testify before a German parliamentary committee investigating surveillance activities of the NSA of the United States.

Leaks by Snowden revealing the NSA's global spying activities began last summer. Revelations of U.S. gathering of online and photo data, especially allegations about its tapping of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone, have led to explicit criticism in Germany and strained relations between Germany and the United States.

[Source: Xinhua, Berlin, 30Apr14]

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