Snowden Likely to Testify by Video to EU Parliament

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Sunday, 08 Dec 2013 06:17 PM

By Greg Richter

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NSA leaker Edward Snowden may testify before the European Parliament by video later this month, according to a German member of the body who is working to get the testimony heard, The Guardian reports.

British Conservatives oppose having Snowden testify.

But Jan Philipp Albrecht, Green Party member behind the push, said Snowden should appear before the assembly's committee on civil liberties to talk about American and British spying on EU citizens.

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"Half a year after the first publications from his collection of numerous NSA documents, the truth of which has not so far been refuted, there are still consequences as far as political responsibility is concerned," Albrecht told The Guardian, which has been the first to publish much of Snowden's leaks.

The panel likely would focus on whether European information services helped obtain the data and whether servers and data networks in Europe were used as part of the process, The Guardian said.

Conservative member Timothy Kirkhope said in a letter last week to committee members that the invitation for Snowden to testify was "a provocative act that would enable [Snowden] to further endanger security around Europe and beyond."

Tories are no longer part of the center-right coalition in the EU Parliament, so their opposition isn't thought to be able to stop Snowden's testimony.

Live video testimony might enable the very agencies Snowden has exposed to track his location, so questions likely will be submitted to him to answer by video recording, which will then be played to the committee.

Journalist Glenn Greenwald, who first published Snowden's leaked documents the Guardian supports having Snowden testify.

"It makes sense to question Snowden: he is very courageous and wants to talk about what he knows about [US] spying on allies and innocent citizens," The Irish Times reported him as saying in late October.

Snowden, 30, has been leaking documents about spying by U.S. and British agencies since the summer. He has been praised by some on both sides of the political spectrum as a hero, while others on both sides have vilified as a traitor.  Others have been slow to characterize him either way.

The former NSA contract employee fled to Hong Kong and is living in Russia.

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