Angela Merkel and Obama.
Germany has dropped an investigation into alleged tapping of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone by the US National Security Agency (NSA).
The office of federal prosecutor Harald Range said the NSA had failed to provide enough evidence to justify legal action.
The allegations of NSA phone-tapping came out in the secrets leaked by US whistleblower Edward Snowden about large-scale US surveillance in 2013.
When the allegations were made the White House gave no outright denial, but said Mrs Merkel’s phone was not being bugged currently and would not be in future,but the allegation no doubt severely strained the ties between Germany and US.
Mrs Merkel had shortly after the allegations told the US government angrily that “spying between friends just isn’t on”
On 4 June last year Mr Range said “sufficient factual evidence exists that unknown members of the US intelligence services spied on the mobile phone of Chancellor Angela Merkel”.
But in December he revealed that the investigation was not going well and he had not obtained enough evidence to succeed in court,then last Friday released a statement categorically declaring “the accusation cannot be proven in a legally sound way under criminal law”.
Ranges’ statement further submitted “the vague statements by US officials about possible surveillance of the chancellor’s mobile telecommunication by a US intelligence service – ‘not any more’ – are not enough to describe what happened”.
Mr Snowden the whistle blower of the allegation had worked as a contractor for the NSA but fled to Hong Kong from the US in May 2013 after revealing extensive, global internet and phone surveillance by US intelligence.
The US had immediately after the allegation charged Snowden with theft of government property, unauthorised communication of national defence information and wilful communication of classified communications intelligence.