20:00 GMT +322 October 2019
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    NSA former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden

    Whistleblower's 'Ultimate Goal': Edward Snowden Asks for 'Fair Trial' in the United States

    © AFP 2019 / Frederick Florin
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    The US government, Snowden argued, does not want a jury at his hypothetical trial to consider the whistleblower’s motivations, which essentially “defeats” the very purpose of a jury trial.

    Famous American whistleblower and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden who exposed a number of the agency’s global surveillance programmes by leaking classified material, has recently revealed that he would like to return home, but only if the US government would guarantee him a fair trial.

    "I would like to return to the United States. That is the ultimate goal. But if I'm gonna spend the rest of my life in prison, the one bottom line demand that we have to agree to is that at least I get a fair trial", he told CBS This Morning. "And that is the one thing the government has refused to guarantee because they won't provide access to what's called a public interest defense".

    He insisted that he doesn’t want a pardon or a parade, but only a free trial, describing it as “the bottom line that any American should require,” and lamenting that the US government allegedly has different things in store for him.

    "And, essentially, the most important fact to the government and this is the thing we have a point of contention on, is that they do not want the jury to be able to consider the motivations. Why I did what I did", Snowden explained. "Was it better for the United States? Did it benefit us or did it cause harm? They don't want the jury to consider that at all. They want the jury strictly to consider whether these actions were lawful or unlawful, not whether they were right or wrong. And I'm sorry, but that defeats the purpose of a jury trial."

    The whistleblower made this reveal ahead of the upcoming release of his new memoir, “Permanent Record”, which is expected to hit the shelves on 17 September – the US Constitution Day.

    Earlier this month, Snowden also expressed hope that French President Emmanuel Macron might grant him asylum, pointing out that he actually applied for it back in 2013 during the administration of former French President Francois Hollande.

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    interview, trial, Edward Snowden, United States
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