by Alice Monroe
Germany has launched an investigation into whether the US government monitored Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone
BERLIN, Germany -- Germany's chief federal prosecutor has opened a formal criminal investigation into the U.S. National Security Agency's (NSA) alleged tapping of Chancellor Merkel's phone. The Chancellor had publicly asked for an explanation for the alleged spying.
"I informed parliament's legal affairs committee that I have started a preliminary investigation over tapping of a mobile phone of the chancellor," federal prosecutor Harald Range said on Wednesday, as the German and US leaders were due to meet in Brussels at a G7 summit.
Merkel had expressed outrage over the alleged US monitoring of her phone and accused Washington of a grave breach of trust. US President Barack Obama said he would introduce new guidelines to cut back on the level of monitoring carried out by the NSA, except in cases related to national security matters.
In Germany, Merkel has proposed establishing a European communications network to avoid data communications such as emails automatically passing through US networks.