Snowden submits asylum request to Russia

Snowden submits asylum request to Russia
Tue Jul 16, 2013 19:18:37

Fugitive US whistleblower Edward Snowden has submitted an official request for temporary asylum in Russia.

Prominent lawyer and Public Chamber member Anatoly Kucherena said on Tuesday that Snowden wrote the request “in my presence, as there were a lot of legal and judicial questions.”

Kucherena said he saw Snowden submit his appeal to a representative of the Federal Migration Service at Sheremetyevo Airport, where the US leaker has been holed up since arriving in Russia from Hong Kong on June 23.

Snowden needs temporary legal status in Russia in order to secure eventual passage to Latin American countries that have offered him asylum.

Snowden’s US passport has been invalidated as part of Washington’s effort to return him to the United States to stand trial on charges of espionage and property theft, after the former National Security Agency contractor revealed details of secret state surveillance programs.

Snowden, a former technical contractor for the NSA and employee of the CIA, last month revealed the existence of mass surveillance programs by the United States and Britain against their own citizens and citizens of other countries.

A new public-opinion poll conducted by the Quinnipiac University revealed that a majority of Americans believe Snowden is a whistleblower, not a traitor.



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