Snowden could receive safe passage to Switzerland: Swiss AG
NSA whistle-blower could be safe from extradition to US if testifying about surveillance projects
The Swiss attorney general has reportedly said that NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden would be safe from extradition to the US if he were to testify about surveillance projects in Switzerland, the Register reported.
Two separate Swiss newspapers revealed the AG's opinion - detailed last November in a confidential document - which held that any move by US prosecutors to take custody of Snowden would be deemed political and dismissed by Swiss authorities.
Snowden, a sub-contracted sysadmin working for the NSA, made headlines last year when he fled Hawaii on a flight to Hong Kong, with thousands of sensitive documents that implicated US intelligence agencies in secret surveillance projects. After leaking the documents to newspapers in Germany, Hong Kong, the UK and the US, American prosecutors charged Snowden with theft of government property, unauthorised communication of privileged information and wilful communication of classified communications intelligence.
Snowden eventually fled to Russia, where he spent several weeks in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, before being granted temporary residency, which last month was extended for a three-year period.
Snowden has previously given evidence from Russia over video link to EU lawmakers and has indicated he is open to testifying in Switzerland. His Zurich-based lawyer Marcel Bosonnet was reportedly pleased upon hearing of the Swiss AG's opinion. He was quoted by Swiss daily Sonntags Zeitung as saying "the legal requirements for [Snowden's] safe conduct are met".