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German lawmakers probing NSA surveillance plan to question Snowden in Moscow

  • Edward Snowden-1.jpg

    Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden participates in a conversation via video with John Perry Barlow, co-founder & vice chairman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, at the 2014 Personal Democracy Forum, at New York University, Thursday, June 5, 2014 in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) (The Associated Press)

  • Edward Snowden-2.jpg

    Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden participates in a conversation via video with John Perry Barlow, co-founder & vice chairman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, at the 2014 Personal Democracy Forum, at New York University, Thursday, June 5, 2014 in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) (The Associated Press)

German lawmakers plan to travel to Moscow to seek testimony from Edward Snowden for their probe into the extent of the surveillance conducted by the U.S. and its allies in Germany.

Lawmakers from Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc and its center-left coalition partners agreed Thursday to hear Snowden in Russia, where the former NSA contractor has sought asylum.

Left-wing opposition parties had demanded that Germany allow Snowden to come to Berlin to testify, but the government argued that would hurt trans-Atlantic relations and security cooperation with the United States.

A German lawyer acting for Snowden, Wolfgang Kaleck, told rbb-Inforadio that it would be better if his client could testify in Germany or in a third country.

German prosecutors opened an investigation Wednesday into the NSA's alleged monitoring of Merkel's cellphone.