Word has it that Edward Snowden might be willing to travel to Germany to testify to a public prosecutor or an investigating committee of the German parliament that is looking into mass surveillance.  How risky would that be, both for Snowden and for the U.S.-German relationship, including extradition relations? Quite challenging for both, it would seem.

As a preliminary matter, Snowden may have no real intention of leaving Russia unless and until the U.S. drops its criminal case against him.  The letter he gave a German member of parliament stated, “I hope that when the difficulties of this [i.e., his] humanitarian situation have been resolved, I will be able to cooperate in the responsible finding of fact . . . . I look forward to speaking with you in your country when the situation is resolved . . . .”   Presumably “when the situation is resolved” means something like “when I am back in the United States without criminal charges hanging over my head.” Yet the White House yesterday made clear that it has no intention of granting Snowden clemency.  By the terms of Snowden’s own letter, then, he may be leaving Russia no time soon.a

Ashley S. Deeks, Snowden in Deutschland?, Lawfare (November 4, 2013).