MOSCOW, October 12 (RIA Novosti) – Anti-secrecy organization Wikileaks released five video clips of Edward Snowden on Saturday that were taken at a closed dinner in Moscow last week, the first footage of the fugitive US leaker to surface since he was granted asylum in Russia.
The short clips, two of which do not have any sound, show Snowden receiving an award from the Sam Adams Associates, a group of former US officials turned whistleblowers, and criticizing the reach of US electronic surveillance programmes.
“We have an executive, the department of Justice, that is unwilling to prosecute high officials who lied to Congress and the country on camera, but they will stop at nothing to persecute someone who told them the truth,” Snowden said in one piece of footage, referring to allegations that US officials misled the public over the country’s surveillance programmes. Snowden is wanted on espionage charges by the United States.
The dinner on October 9, which took place in a secret location, was attended by former officials – from the US Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency (NSA), the FBI, and the Department of Justice – that now campaign against what they call the misuse of state secrecy, as well as WikiLeaks representative Sarah Harrison and Snowden’s lawyer Anatoly Kucherena.
The footage seemed intended to portray Snowden as happy in Russia, where he has largely stayed hidden from public view since he arrived on a June 23 flight from Hong Kong. One six-second clip without sound was entitled “Edward Snowden smiles at Sam Adams award presentation in Moscow.”