World Bulletin / News Desk
Germany’s chief prosecutor has shelved an investigation into the alleged surveillance of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone by the U.S. spy agency, National Security Agency (NSA), for lack of what it called legally-sound evidence.
Chief Prosecutor General Harald Range's office announced Friday that the investigation into the claims that Merkel’s phone had been tapped by the U.S. secret service was closed, as the one year-long investigation could not uncover any concrete evidence.
German security authorities could neither confirm nor rule out that a suspected surveillance activity had targeted Merkel’s mobile phone, Range’s office said in a written statement.
“The clarification of the suspected actions, by the date, place and factual circumstances, as well as the people involved - as required by the Code of Criminal Procedures – has not been possible,” it added.
Range opened the formal investigation into the allegations in June last year, with the suspicion that “unknown members of a US intelligence service” had tapped Merkel’s phone.
American whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations in 2013 showed that a private mobile phone number of Merkel had been on a monitoring list of the NSA.
However, the German prosecutor’s office said that it was unable to receive the original document published by several media outlets.
U.S.-Germany relations were strained in 2013 after the wiretapping reports emerged.
U.S. administration did not confirm the reports, and did not offer any public apology. Meanwhile, Washington turned down Berlin’s demand to sign a “no-spy agreement”.
German government came under growing pressure last month after reports revealed that Germany had a secret cooperation deal with the NSA, which allowed it to spy on telephone and internet communications worldwide and share them with the U.S. spy agency.
The cooperation agreement, signed between the two agencies in 2002, was aimed at surveillance of conflict regions, such as Afghanistan and Somalia, from the Bad Aibling station, located in southern Germany, according to German officials.
But German media reports in May revealed that the U.S. spy agency had not only monitored conflict regions but had also spied on European politicians, institutions and companies, like aerospace giant EADS.
German opposition parties have sharply criticized Merkel’s coalition government for not exerting effective control on German intelligence services and on its cooperation with the U.S. But Merkel defended the German cooperation with the NSA, citing growing terrorism threats.Last Mod: 13 Haziran 2015, 10:11