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A European Parliament committee approved plans on Thursday to hear US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden, whose revelations about US snooping on EU leaders has sparked uproar against Washington.
Parliament's Civil Liberties committee voted 36 in favour, two against, to hear Snowden by video-link from Russia where he has found temporary asylum.
Reports based on Snowden's leaked files have shown Washington running a global system, backed up by allies such as Britain, to listen in on Internet and telephone systems.
This included revelations that the US National Security Agency had even tapped the mobile phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The full parliament will vote on the committee's recommendation in February, with the Snowden hearing possible in April if it wins full house approval. - Sapa-AFP