Criminal proceedings opened into alleged spying

On December 7, 2013, the Swiss cabinet approved the Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s Office’s request to open criminal proceedings into alleged spying on Swiss soil by the United States and other countries. At the time, Chief Federal Prosecutor Michael Lauber told the Swiss press that unless Snowden participated in person, it would be difficult to make progress in the investigation. In Summer 2014, Zurich-based lawyer Marcel Bosonnet stated that he was exploring the possibility of political asylum for Snowden in Switzerland, adding that it could be in Switzerland’s interest to have Snowden on hand to help with the investigation into alleged spying. In September 2014, the Swiss press reported that the Attorney General had stated in writing in November 2013 that only “higher state obligations” could prevent Snowden from being awarded safe passage to travel to Switzerland to give evidence in an ongoing criminal investigation.

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