Switzerland has 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.
It has been revealed that trade secrets from other nations are not safe with the NSA. Snowden suggested earlier that the United States conducted espionage to prevent losing its economic prowess to other countries.
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.
“We must now move forward, so that Snowden can travel to Switzerland as a witness as soon as possible,” SVP National Luzi Stamm said, adding that the Swiss people have the right to know the truth behind the extent of US spying activities.
Over the past year, Snowden has been the recipient of the German ‘Whistleblower Prize,’ the Sam Adams Award which was presented to him in Moscow, the German ‘positive’ Big Brother Award, the Ridenhour Truth-Telling Prize, and the Fritz Bauer Prize.
He also joined the board of directors of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, co-founded by Daniel Ellsberg, and was elected in absentia as rector of the University of Glasgow.