MOSCOW, July 11 (RIA Novosti) – Russian lawmaker Valery Seleznev has said it is impossible to exchange his son, who was detained by the United States last week, for Edward Snowden.
"As a father, I'd have gladly given the devil himself [for my son], you know. But I understand that there are some limits, possible and impossible," Seleznev said at a press conference in Moscow.
Seleznev also noted that Snowden was not abducted, and had asked Russia for political asylum.
"It's a bit incorrect [to put the question this way] because nobody kidnapped Snowden. If I start telling some obvious nonsense, then I’m worth nothing as a political figure, who is serving his seventh year in the State Duma, including four years in the Foreign Affairs Committee,” the lawmaker said.
Roman Seleznev, 30, was arrested on July 5, in a Maldivian airport by US secret services. The younger Seleznev was taken to the island of Guam in the Pacific Ocean, where he appeared in court on Monday. The ensuing hearings are to be held on July 22.
US authorities have accused the Russian citizen of hacking into point-of-sale systems at a number of American shops to steal credit card data from customers. Seleznev faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted of the bank fraud, while the other charges also carry significant sentences.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has called the incident an unfriendly move by the United States and a de facto kidnapping. The ministry is currently trying gain consular access to Roman, who may die in custody if denied medical care due to a massive brain injury after a terrorist attack in Morocco in 2011, his father said.