BERLIN — Germany’s top security official said today he will try to find a way for Edward Snowden to speak to German officials if the former National Security Agency contractor is willing to provide details about the NSA’s activities including the alleged surveillance of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone.
The comments by Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich came after a German opposition lawmaker traveled to Moscow and met NSA leaker Snowden. The lawmaker, Hans-Christian Stroebele, returned to Berlin with a letter he said Snowden had written, which he released today.
In the letter Snowden, who faces espionage charges in the U.S., indicated that he will not speak with German officials until the United States stops its prosecution of leakers like him.
“Though the outcome of my efforts has been demonstrably positive, my government continues to treat dissent as defection, and seeks to criminalize political speech with felony charges that provide no defense. … I am confident that with the support of the international community, the government of the United States will abandon this harmful behavior,” Snowden wrote in the letter. “I look forward to speaking with you in your country when the situation is resolved, and thank you for your efforts in upholding the international laws that protect us all,” he said.