MOSCOW, December 12 (RAPSI) – Edward Snowden’s planned testimony to the European Parliament via a video link may be thwarted by deputies’ fear of a negative reaction from the US, the German news magazine Der Spiegel writes on its website.

The European Parliament is holding hearings over the spying furore that erupted in Europe after the publication of the data provided by the US whistleblower in October. Snowden claimed to have documents which proved that the US National Security Agency tapped cellphone calls of at least 35 heads of state and government across the world, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Snowden’s videoconference was planned for December 18. However, the European People's Party (EPP), the largest party in the European Parliament, is trying to prevent his appearance for fear of a negative US reaction.

Axel Voss, from the European People’s Party group in the European Parliament, told Der Spiegel: “We are not happy with the format of the videoconference. There will be no opportunity for discussion or for us to ask questions.” Spiegel Online writes that the planned videoconference could have a negative effect on EU-US relations and on their free trade agreement talks.

Edward Snowden, a computer specialist and former NSA employee, was the focus of international attention over the summer after he leaked classified evidence of US government surveillance programs to the media.