US whistleblower Edward Snowden could receive asylum in Switzerland, if he travels to the country to testify against the National Security Agency (NSA) espionage activities, Swiss media says.
The Sonntagszeitung newspaper said on Monday that it had obtained a document, titled “What rules would apply if Edward Snowden is brought to Switzerland and the United States makes an extradition request?” in which Swiss Attorney General stated that Snowden could be guaranteed safety if he arrives in the country to testify.
Swiss ATS news agency also reported that based on the document, Switzerland does not extradite a US citizen, if the individual’s “actions constitute a political offense, or if the request has been politically motivated.”
The NSA whistleblower’s safety could thus be guaranteed if it is ruled that the charges against him have a “predominantly political character,” the document concluded.
Meanwhile, Snowden’s Swiss lawyer, Marcel Bosonnet, said he is pleased with the Attorney General’s conclusions, adding, “The legal requirements for safety are met.”
Last year, Snowden leaked two top secret US government spying programs under which the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been eavesdropping on millions of American and European phone records and the Internet data from major Internet companies such as Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Apple, and Microsoft.
The NSA scandal took even broader dimensions when Snowden revealed information about its espionage activities targeting friendly countries.
In October 2013, British daily The Guardian reported that the NSA had monitored the telephone conversations of 35 world leaders.
Earlier this year, Germany blocked Snowden from giving personal evidence in front of a parliamentary inquiry into NSA spying, as government officials said in a letter to members of a parliamentary committee that a personal invitation for the American whistleblower would “run counter to the political interests of the Federal Republic,” and “put a grave and permanent strain” on relations between US and Germany.