Tags: snowden | return | US | russia | deal

Feds: Snowden Would Face Charges If He Returns

Feds: Snowden Would Face Charges If He Returns
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Wednesday, 04 March 2015 07:48 AM

Edward Snowden's Russian lawyer said Tuesday that legal teams are "doing everything possible" to return him to the United States, but his lead American attorney said the Russian's statements were exaggerated.

“This is much ado about nothing,” Ben Wizner, who serves as director of the ACLU's Speech, Privacy & Technology Project and is Snowden’s head legal counsel in the United States, told Vanity Fair's website in an e-mail. "Just [Snowden’s] Russian lawyer paraphrasing what [Snowden] has always said: that he would return to the U.S. if a fair trial were available.”

At a news conference in Moscow on Tuesday, Anatoly Kucherena, who is Snowden's attorney in Russia, said he would not "keep it secret that he... wants to return back home. And we are doing everything possible now to solve this issue. There is a group of U.S. lawyers, there is also a group of German lawyers and I'm dealing with it on the Russian side."

Kucherena, who has links to the Kremlin, made the comments during a news conference Tuesday to present a book he has written about Snowden.

Snowden has been living under asylum in Russia since 2013, where he fled after leaking vital documents from the National Security Agency. He has long said he wishes to return home to the United States, but won't because of what he calls the threat of unfair prosecution.

In Washington, U.S. officials said they would welcome the former NSA contractor's Snowden's return to the United States but he would have to face criminal charges which have been filed against him. Russia has repeatedly refused to extradite him.

"It remains our position that Mr. Snowden should return to the United States and face the charges filed against him,"Justice Department spokesman Marc Raimondi told Reuters: "If he does, he will be accorded full due process and protections."

Snowden is praised by some as a civil rights campaigner and whistleblower and condemned by others as a traitor who compromised U.S. security. Kucherena said in August Snowden had been given a three-year Russian residence permit.

The U.S. position is that "Snowden is not a whistleblower. He is accused of leaking classified information and there is no question his actions have inflicted serious harms on our national security," Raimondi said.

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Edward Snowden's Russian lawyer said Tuesday that legal teams are doing everything possible to return him to the United States, but his lead American attorney said the Russian's statements were exaggerated. "This is much ado about nothing," Ben Wizner, who serves as...
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2015-48-04
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 07:48 AM
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