21:51 GMT01 December 2020
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    Edward Snowden’s lawyer said that if the US does not drop its political prejudice against former NSA contractor Snowden, then no fair trial can ever be expected.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) If the United States does not drop its political biases against former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden, then no fair trial can ever be expected, Snowden’s lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, told Sputnik on Tuesday.

    "Attention is needed in the issue of why for some reason this issue is always being commented on by someone from the US Department of State and not from the [Justice Department] or from the Prosecutor General’s Office, but instead the issue is always in a political dimension. This is why in this case, of course, that it is hard to hope for a fair and just trial when political elites have a certain opinion," Kucherena said.

    White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Monday that the US government insists that Snowden return home to stand before a court of law.

    "Mr. Snowden committed very serious crimes, and the US government and Department of Justice believe that he should face them," Earnest said. "That is why we believe that Mr. Snowden should return to the United States where he should face due process, and he will have the opportunity if he returns to the United States to make that case in a court of law."

    Snowden's lawyer said that the main task of both the Russian and US lawyers is to put the Snowden case back into a legal frame, irrespective of any political statements made by the US State Department or politicians.

    Snowden became internationally known in June 2013 after posting online thousands of classified documents pertaining to US global surveillance programs run by the United States with the cooperation of multinational telecommunication companies and European governments.

    At the time of the posting, Snowden fled the United States and sought asylum in Russia. After residing in Russia for one year, he received in August 2014 an extended three-year Russian residence permit.

    US authorities have been calling on Snowden to return to the United States, where he is wanted on charges of espionage and theft of government property and could face up to 30 years in prison for his revelations.


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    trial, National Security Agency (NSA), Anatoly Kucherena, West Coast United States
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