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By | Team Register 8th September 2014 17:02

Snowden shouldn't be extradited to US if he testifies about NSA spying, says Swiss gov

Extradition could be off the cards, says attorney general

Master spook blabbermouth Edward Snowden should be granted safe passage to and from Switzerland if he testifies about surveillance, the country's attorney general has reportedly said.

Last year, the one-time NSA sysadmin leaked files revealing some of the secret spying tactics of UK and US spooks.

Snowden currently has temporary residency in Russia, where he has been living for more than a year now.

According to two separate reports in Swiss newspapers Sonntags Zeitung and Le Matin published on Sunday, Snowden would not be extradited to the US if he stands as a "witness in criminal proceedings, or [appears] as part of a parliamentary inquiry" in Switzerland.

That's apparently the opinion of the country's attorney general, who expressed that view in November last year to help work out legalities relating to any potential visit from whistleblower Snowden.

The two newspapers reported the Swiss government law advisor's opinion, after viewing a confidential document.

The top Swiss lawyer added that any US efforts to extradite Snowden if he were to testify in Switzerland would be considered "political" and thereby rejected by authorities in the country.

Only "higher state obligations" could overrule that position, the AG reportedly added.

Snowden, meanwhile, has indicated that he is willing to testify in Switzerland. His Zurich lawyer Marcel Bosonnet was said to be pleased with the AG's comments. He was quoted by Sonntags Zeitung as saying "the legal requirements for [Snowden's] safe conduct are met."

Switzerland is currently probing a number of foreign state activities and Snowden, who has previously spoken to the European Parliament about surveillance tactics via a video link from Russia, could yet be asked to provide evidence to the Swiss authorities. ®

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