German lawmakers decide to quiz Snowden

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German lawmakers decided on Thursday they want to question former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden as part of a parliamentary inquiry into the mass surveillance of German citizens, which he exposed.

“A majority of the committee has decided that we want to hear Snowden,” said Roderich Kiesewetter, the conservative head of the committee set up to investigate the activities in Germany of the US National Security Agency (NSA).

It has not yet been decided whether Snowden, who was granted asylum in Russia, should be invited to testify in person about the NSA surveillance that has soured ties between Washington and Berlin. Snowden risks being arrested and extradited if he sets foot in any US-allied country.

He was charged last year in the United States with theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified intelligence to an unauthorized person.

An option would be for him to testify from abroad but the German opposition argues that Snowden would only be able to express himself freely if he were in Germany.

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