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Swiss Officials Debate Asylum For Snowden If He Testifies On Spying

  • RFE/RL

Swiss officials are debating whether fugitive U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden could receive asylum to testify in state investigations into foreign espionage against Switzerland.

The Swiss newspaper "Le Matin Dimanche" reported September 7 that the federal Prosecutor-General's Office has sought legal opinions regarding whether Snowden would be immune from U.S. extradition demands.

The paper says the legal opinions conclude Snowden could be given asylum if "higher state obligations" did not take priority.

The nature of the obligations was not specified.

Marcel Bosonnet, a Zurich lawyer representing Snowden, told Swiss media "the legal requirements for safe conduct are met."

He also said Snowden, now in Russia, has expressed interest in coming to Switzerland.

The Prosecutor-General's Office refused to comment.

Snowden has leaked thousands of documents regarding the extent of U.S. intelligence gathering activities, including in Europe.