Snowden to Get Swiss Asylum if He Testifies on NSA
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Switzerland reportedly decided it will not extradite National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden to the US if he comes to testify against the NSA’s spying activities, Swiss media said.
In the document, titled “What rules are to be followed if Edward Snowden is brought to Switzerland and then the United States makes an extradition request,” Switzerland’s Attorney General stated that Snowden should be guaranteed safety if he arrives to the country to testify, Sonntags Zeitung reported.
In particular, the report proposes to ensure the whistleblower’s safety by inviting him as a witness to a parliamentary hearing focusing on the NSA’s surveillance practices.
In the document, the authority said that Switzerland does not extradite a US citizen, if the individual’s “actions constitute a political offense, or if the request has been politically motivated,” Swiss ATS news agency reported.
Snowden’s safety can thus be guaranteed if it is ruled that the charges against him have a “predominantly political character,” the document concluded.
The only obstacle for that could be “higher-level government commitments,” the Office of the Attorney General said, adding that it must be verified if such obligations do, in fact, exist.
The document was reportedly requested last November.
Snowden’s Swiss lawyer, Marcel Bosonnet, said he is pleased with the Attorney General’s conclusions.
“The legal requirements for safety are met,” he assured, adding that Snowden has already showed interest in testifying.
Immigration rights activist Sarah Progin-Theuerkauf hinted that Snowden might even have a shot at Swiss asylum following the proposed testimony.
“There is evidence that Edward Snowden meets the criteria of refugee status under the Geneva Convention and therefore should be granted asylum,” she told Sonntags Zeitung.
Swiss politicians meanwhile are calling to welcome Snowden to Switzerland as soon as possible.