Philip Oltermann
The Guardian
May 1, 2014

Edward Snowden during a presentation in Moscow. / Credit: McZusatz via Wikimedia"
Edward Snowden during a presentation in Moscow. / Credit: McZusatz via Wikimedia”
The German government has blocked Edward Snowden from giving personal evidence in front of a parliamentary inquiry into NSA surveillance, it has emerged hours before Angela Merkel travels to Washington for a meeting with Barack Obama.

In a letter to members of a parliamentary committee obtained by Süddeutsche Zeitung, government officials say a personal invitation for the US whistleblower would “run counter to the political interests of the Federal Republic”, and “put a grave and permanent strain” on US-German relations.

Opposition party members in the committee from the Left and Green party had for weeks insisted that the former NSA employee was a key witness and therefore would need to appear in person, not least because of concerns that Russia otherwise could influence his testimony.

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