Snowden seeks assurance from Norway it won’t extradite him

The Wall Street Journal reports: Edward Snowden, the former defense contractor charged by U.S. authorities for leaking classified documents to the media, is seeking assurance that Norway won’t extradite him if he comes here to collect a free-speech prize.

Mr. Snowden, who resides in Russia, has petitioned a Norwegian court, asking it to rule that the espionage charges filed by the U.S. Justice Department against him wouldn’t constitute grounds for extradition.

The Schjodt law firm, which filed the motion with the Oslo District Court on Mr. Snowden’s behalf, said Thursday that political crimes were formally excluded from a bilateral treaty and other rules governing extradition between Norway and the U.S.

“Mr. Snowden’s whistleblower activities must undoubtedly be seen as matters of political character,” the law firm said in its motion to the court.

The law firm said it has evidence that the U.S. has filed an extradition request to Norwegian authorities in the event Mr. Snowden arrives in Norway.

A spokesman at Norway’s Justice Ministry declined to comment on a court matter. The court said it hadn’t yet received Mr. Snowden’s documents. The U.S. Justice Department didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Debates inside and outside the courts over Mr. Snowden’s petition could challenge relations between the U.S. and the small Nordic country, traditionally a strong U.S. ally but also a strong advocate of whistleblower rights. [Continue reading…]

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