German prosecutors close probe into alleged NSA tapping of Merkel cellphone

German prosecutors have closed an investigation into the alleged tapping of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone by the US National Security Agency (NSA). The allegation was based on documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden.


The alleged hack of the German leader’s phone was first reported by the news magazine Spiegel, causing outrage in the country.

In December 2014, after months of investigation, Germany’s top prosecutor Harald Range said the probe had failed to find proof of tapping and that the document published by the media didn’t “come from an NSA database.”

The situation apparently hasn’t changed since, as Range’s office reported on Friday that it had failed to obtain an original document proving the alleged spying, and that the one published earlier would not stand in court.

The revelation of global massive electronic surveillance by the NSA hurt America’s relations with Germany, where the issue of privacy is sensitive, considering the country’s history of state-sponsored espionage by the Nazis and later the Communist government in the east.

Amid the public uproar, Merkel sought to sign a no-spying agreement with Washington, but to no avail.