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Edward Snowden ready to return to US if guaranteed to receive fair trial — lawyer

March 03, 2015, 13:25 UTC+3
The former CIA agent's lawyers are working on the legal aspect of his return to the United States, Anatoly Kucherena, one of the lawyers, says
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Former CIA contractor Edward Snowden

Former CIA contractor Edward Snowden

© ITAR-TASS/ Pavel Smertin

MOSCOW, March 3. /TASS/. Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) contractor Edward Snowden is ready to return to the US on the condition of receiving a fair trial, Snowden’s lawyer Anatoly Kucherena told journalists on Tuesday, presenting his book "Time of the Octopus."

"Edward Snowden is ready to return to the US, but on the condition that he will be given guarantees on receiving a fair and impartial trial," Kucherena said.

Snowden's lawyers are working on the legal aspect of his return to the US, he went on to say.

"We, together with a group of lawyers from other countries, are working on the issue of his return to the US," Kucherena said.

The lawyer added that he received a letter from US attorney general who gave guarantees that in case of Snowden’s return, he will not receive capital punishment. "That is, they guarantee that Snowden will not be executed, not that he will receive a fair trial. And it is guaranteed by attorney [general] who cannot even influence court decisions according to law," Kucherena said.

He said he does not trust information coming from several countries on their readiness to protect Snowden. "Snowden can leave the Russian territory with his residence permit. But I suspect that as soon as he leaves Russia, he will be delivered to the US embassy," the lawyer said.

Edward Snowden refuses to give interview to the media because he does not want to criticise the United States while staying in Russia, Anatoly Kucherena told reporters.

"Snowden had passed materials to reporters in Hong Kong and did it not for money — since then he has not met with reporters because he does not want to discredit the United States from here, from Russia," Kucherena said.

The lawyer noted that Snowden works in IT in Moscow and consults several US companies as well. "Edward is under protection, we take measures to ensure his safety," Kucherena said. "He is working and learning Russian," he said.

Kucherena also said he met Snowden’s girlfriend Lindsay Mills. "She comes to Russia, they love each other and they have been together for many years. She continues to stand by his side," the lawyer added.

In the US, Snowden faces charges of violating the Espionage Act and theft of government property. He leaked classified information on NSA to the mainstream media, and fled to Hong Kong in June 2013. He then flew to Moscow en route to Ecuador. Snowden had to stay in Russia as the US revoked his passport. He spent more than a month in the Sheremetyevo airport transit zone.

Snowden’s temporary asylum expired on August 1, 2014. He was granted a residence permit for three years.

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