09-26-2017  7:49 am      •     
The Wake of Vanport
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ENTERTAINMENT

Frederik Pleitgen and Laura Smith-Spark CNN

BERLIN (CNN) -- A German lawmaker who met Edward Snowden in Moscow on Thursday said Friday that the National Security Agency leaker offered to testify in front of the U.S. Congress.



"He didn't present himself as an enemy of America, quite the opposite," German member of parliament Hans-Christian Stroebele told reporters in Berlin Friday.

Stroebele said he had suggested Snowden testify before German lawmakers and that the former NSA contractor responded that in fact he wants to testify in Washington.

Snowden said he might go to Germany, if he gets assurances that he could stay in a safe place afterward without being deported to the United States, said Stroebele, a well-known leftist legislator in Germany.

Snowden has been in Moscow since June, having fled there from Hong Kong. He was granted asylum for one year by Russia in August.

Stroebele returned from the meeting with Snowden on Thursday with a letter from the NSA leaker to German authorities, which was distributed to the media.

In the letter, Snowden says he is "looking forward to speaking" with German authorities in Germany "when the situation is resolved" -- a reference to the current efforts by the United States to extradite him.

Snowden also wrote that he was "heartened by the response to my act of political expression, in both the United States and beyond.

"Citizens around the world as well as high officials -- including in the United States -- have judged the revelation of an unaccountable system of pervasive surveillance to be a public service."

The benefits of this knowledge to society are becoming increasingly clear, and the "claimed risks are being shown to have been mitigated," he added.

Snowden "is an important witness for Germany," said Stroebele.

The lawmaker's comments come amid outrage among many German leaders about claims that an NSA surveillance operation targeted German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone.

Stroebele said he didn't know if Snowden had sent a similar letter to other governments in Latin America or elsewhere.

Stroebele also said Snowden, who was due to start a new job in Russia on Friday, appeared to be in good health.

Snowden's attorney Anatoly Kucherena told CNN the job was with a major Russian website but declined to give the employer's name for security reasons.

He told Russian state-run news agency RIA Novosti that Snowden would perform maintenance for the site.

CNN's Richard Allen Greene contributed to this report.

™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

 

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