Correction: Oops! This story is a year old.
AFP reports: Edward Snowden, the fugitive whistleblower who has been given refuge in Russia, is willing to return to the United States if he is given a fair trial, his lawyer said Tuesday.
“He is thinking about it. He has a desire to return and we are doing everything we can to make it happen,” Anatoly Kucherena, the Russian lawyer who represents the former National Security Agency contractor, told a news conference.
Snowden was given political asylum in Russia in the summer of 2013 after the US revoked his passport. He now leads a reclusive life there.
“With a group of lawyers from other countries, we are working on the question of his return to America,” Kucherena said.
“Snowden is ready to return to the States, but on the condition that he is given a guarantee of a legal and impartial trial,” he said. [Continue reading…]
In this year-old story, Snowden’s Russian lawyer flat-out lied. Contrary to his claim that Snowden had ONLY received a guarantee from the US Attorney General that he will not face the death penalty, AG Holder also pledged in writing on behalf of the United States that Snowden (1) “will not be tortured” and (2) “would be brought before a civilian court convened under Article III of the United States Constitution and supervised by a United States District Judge. Mr. Snowden would receive all the protections that United States law provides to persons charged with federal criminal offenses in Article III courts. In particular, Mr. Snowden would be appointed (or, if he so chose, could retain) counsel. Any questioning of Mr. Snowden could be conducted only with his consent: his participation would be entirely voluntary, and his legal counsel would be present should he wish it. Mr. Snowden would have the right to a public jury trial; he would have the right to testify if he wished to do so; and the United States would have to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to a unanimous jury. If convicted, Mr. Snowden would have the right to appeal to the United States Court of Appeals.”