Snowden seeks international help to persuade US to drop espionage charges against him
Wellington – NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has reportedly sought international help in a bid to persuade the US to drop its espionage charges leveled against him for leaking highly classified data about the alleged mass surveillance programmes.
Snowden is said to have written a letter, which German lawmaker Hans-Christian Stroebele revealed, in which the former has claimed that he would testify before the US Congress about the NSA surveillance and might also help German officials investigate into the alleged US spying in Germany, but only when and if the US drops the said charges.
According to stuff.co.nz, Snowden, in his letter, complained that the US government continues to treat dissent as defection, and seeks to criminalise political speech with felony charges that provide no defense.
He further wrote that with the support of the international community, the government of the US will abandon this harmful behaviour.
Snowden’s revelations about the alleged mass surveillance programmes indicated that the NSA spied on not just citizens across the EU, US and other nations, but also targeted as many as 35 global leaders for the alleged ‘snoop-op’.
The letter revelation comes amidst claims that German chancellor Angela Merkel had been a target of the alleged spying as her telephonic conversations were tapped on.
Meanwhile, Stroebele said that Snowden would like most to lay the facts on the table before a committee of the US Congress and explain them, adding that the 30-year-old whistleblower did not present himself as anti-American.
Since the revelations, Germany and other nations have been aggressively seeking answers from the US authorities about the programmes, which have soured the US ties with its allies.
Meanwhile, Germany’s Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich welcomed Snowden’s move and said that if he was willing, the officials would try to arrange a meeting with German officials.
Snowden has been granted a temporary asylum of one year in Russia, where he has recently taken up a technical support job at one of the nation’s top website.