Germany to drop investigation into US spying on Merkel - report

Germany to drop investigation into US spying on Merkel - report
Germany might decide to drop the investigation against the US tapping of Angela Merkel’s communications according to a German magazine report released Saturday.

German magazine Focus used sources close to the German justice ministry to back up their allegations. It quoted one source’s comments saying that basically nothing had been done despite the investigation starting six months ago.

“The result (of the probe) is almost zilch. A lot of hot air, but nothing done,” one source commented.

Investigators have thus far been unable to source any solid proof in order to give the case weight and have subsequently issued a recommendation that the case be dropped, according to the magazine.

Focus’ sources have said that it is likely that the recommendation will be adhered to and the probe will be dropped.

The case was opened in June after allegations were made that there had been spying operations conducted by foreign intelligence agencies on German soil.

Documents leaked to the press by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden showed widespread habitual spying on the telephone and internet communications of German citizens.

The US and Germany were at odds after the government whistleblower revealed in October 2013 that the NSA had been spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's calls since 2002.

The revelation of bugging of Merkel’s phone in publications based on leaks by NSA whistleblower a heated debate in Germany, which is cautious of government surveillance because of abuses by the East German Stasi secret police.

READ MORE: ‘Like the Stasi’: Merkel likened NSA to infamous German security service

The German government wanted the US to sign a no-spy deal to address public concern, which Washington rejected.

The CIA’s European Division halted its operations in Western Europe in response to several spying scandals in Germany and the continent’s negative reaction to the revelations of spying by the National Security Agency on European leaders and citizens. The stand-down order has been in effect since July.