Former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden has asked a Swiss lawyer to explore the possibility of the United States fugitive coming to Switzerland.
Snowden is currently holed up in Moscow to escape a US arrest warrant after lifting the lid on NSA snooping operations that allegedly used illegal means to tap into telephone and internet data. Snowden’s Russian asylum visa expires in August.
A global network of lawyers is currently searching for another country that will take him in without extraditing him to the US, according to Swiss media.
One of those legal experts, Marcel Bosonnet, is examining whether Switzerland will accept the arrival of Snowden, who used to operate for the NSA in Genevaexternal link.
Bosonnet told Le Temps newspaper that he was exploring the options of political asylum and humanitarian grounds for allowing Snowden safe passage into Switzerland.
“It is up to the Swiss authorities to say how they could ensure the presence of Edward Snowden without him being arrested and handed over to the US authorities,” the Zurich-based lawyer said in the interviewexternal link. “It is obvious that Switzerland should provide prior guarantees.”
Bosonnet added that it could be in Switzerland’s interest to have Snowden on Swiss soil considering that the government has endorsed an inquiryexternal link into alleged criminal NSA surveillance methods.
“It would therefore be logical to hear from the author of the [NSA espionage] revelations that have been aired,” he said.
The NZZ am Sonntag newspaper first reported that Bosonnet had been contacted by a Berlin lawyer to explore Snowden’s options in Switzerland.