Angela Merkel - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2011

We might never know if the NSA truly spied on German chancellor Angela Merkel. And if the agency did, the details might never come to light, because her government has decided to stop investigating whether Merkel was actually a target. The country’s chief federal prosecutor Harald Range has announced in a German-language statement that investigators failed to find sufficient evidence that would hold up in court. Apparently, none of the documents Edward Snowden released contained concrete proof that Merkel’s phone was tapped. Range also said that “vague remarks from US officials about US intelligence surveillance of the chancellor’s cellphone — i.e. ‘not any more’ — are insufficient evidence.”

Range might have been talking about a previous statement by White House spokesman Jay Carney vowing that the US “is not monitoring and will not monitor” the chancellor’s phone. Carney couldn’t answer reporters when asked if that meant the country spied on Merkel in the past. Despite abandoning the probe into whether the US used to eavesdrop on one of the most powerful women in the world, Germany’s NSA committee will continue its activities. The team, which was formed to look into how America’s notorious intelligence organization collected info from/on Germany, promises to resume the inquiry if it finds “new investigative leads.”

[Image credit: World Economic Forum/Flickr]