Edward Snowden, the former US spy agency contractor who has taken refuge in Russia after leaking details of Washington’s mass surveillance programs, wants to return home if he is assured of a fair trial, according to his Russian lawyer.
“I won’t keep it secret that he… wants to return back home. And we are doing everything possible now to solve this issue,” lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, who is believed to have links with the Kremlin, said on Tuesday.
“There is a group of US lawyers, there is also a group of German lawyers (working on the matter), and I’m dealing with it on the Russian side,” Kucherena said at a news conference in Moscow, according to Reuters.
The news conference was held to present a book that the lawyer had written about Snowden.
Meanwhile, US officials said in Washington that they would welcome Snowden’s return to America, but stressed that he would have to face criminal charges that have been filed against him.
“It remains our position that Mr. Snowden should return to the United States and face the charges filed against him. If he does, he will be accorded full due process and protections,” a Justice Department spokesman told Reuters.
Snowden sought asylum in Russia after leaking extensive secrets of electronic surveillance programs by the US National Security Agency.
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