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Snowden Cites Calls for Reform as Justifying Leaks

RIA Novosti

19:45 03/11/2013

BERLIN, November 3 (RIA Novosti) – Fugitive US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden said in a self-described manifesto published Sunday that world leaders' recent calls for reform of American surveillance programs justify his disclosure of classified information on such programs.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel in particular has called for European Union member states to reconsider cooperation with US intelligence agencies after she found out that her mobile phone had been tapped for about a decade according to information released by Snowden.

"Instead of causing damage, the usefulness of the new public knowledge for society is now clear because reforms to politics, supervision and laws are being suggested," Snowden says in "A Manifesto for the Truth," published in German by news magazine Der Spiegel.

"Citizens have to fight against the suppression of information about affairs of essential importance for the public. Those who speak the truth are not committing a crime," he says, according to English-language quotes carried by Reuters.

Germany's Federal Prosecutor's Office last week announced that it might summon the former US National Security Agency employee as a witness of excessive spying by the United States.

Snowden, who lives in Russia on temporary political asylum, reportedly told a German lawmaker in Moscow last week that he would be willing to testify in Germany provided he would not be detained or extradited to the United States.

Snowden, 30, is wanted in the United States on felony charges related to his disclosure of top-secret government information.

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