Russia will not hand over US whistleblower

Russia will not hand over US whistleblower
Sat Jul 27, 2013 08:26:08

Moscow has stressed National Security Agency (NSA) Whistleblower Edward Snowden will not be extradited to the US.

“Russia has never extradited anyone, and will not extradite,” said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Friday.

Russian President is not handling the case of the former CIA employee Edward Snowden, as “Snowden has not made any request that is subject to consideration by the head of the state,” Peskov added.

The issue of Snowden asking for temporary asylum “was not and is not on Putin’s agenda,” Peskov continued, saying he is sure Snowden will stop harming Washington if granted asylum in Russia.

Moscow says the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) is in talks with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) over Snowden. Head of the FSB Aleksandr Bortnikov and FBI Chief Robert Muller are engaged in the discussion over Snowden, Putin’s spokesman said Friday.

Responding to the question of whether the former NSA contractor will continue harming the US by leaking classified materials while in Russia, and if the situation is going to undermine Moscow’s ties with Washington, Peskov stressed that “the head of state has expressed strong determination not to allow this,” referring to Putin’s earlier statements.

Meanwhile, the US Senate threatened Thursday that it might impose sanctions against any country that provides asylum to Snowden, including revocation or suspension of trade privileges and preferences.

The 30-year-old Snowden has been stripped of his US passport, and is wanted by the United States on espionage charges for carrying out one of the biggest security leaks in the American history.

The NSA leaker has been stuck in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport since his arrival from Hong Kong, and remains there while his asylum plea is being reviewed by Russian immigration authorities. His request followed weeks of searching for a way to leave the country, which he had intended to pass through only briefly on his way to another destination.

Meanwhile, Edward Snowden’s father said his son has been so vilified by US President Barak Obama’s administration and members of Congress that he is now better off staying in Russia.

Lon Snowden had been working behind the scenes with lawyers to try to find a way so that his son could get a fair trial in the US.

But the elder Snowden said he had lost faith in recent weeks that his son would be treated fairly by the justice department. He now thinks his son is better off avoiding the US if possible until an administration that respects the constitution comes into office.

Snowden revealed the existence of mass surveillance programs by the United States and Britain against their own citizens and citizens of other countries.


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