Snowden’s dad plans Russia trip to meet with son
Lon Snowden, the father of former CIA employee Edward Snowden, said he is hoping that his son will find protection in Russia and said he is going to come to Moscow. He told about his plans to the Russian TV channel Rossia 24, adding that he would not mind if Edward would spend the rest of his life in Russia.
Lon Snowden also said he cannot trust the US Department of Justice, which said Edward Snowden will not be subjected to violence. He recalled the situation with WikiLeaks informer Bradley Manning, who, according to Lon Snowden, is held in inhumane conditions.
Lon Snowden said the US Department of Justice cannot be trusted these days.
Lon Snowden also said he intends to come to Moscow. He said he has no intention of clearing this matter with the FBI.
Lon Snowden said he is a US citizen and the father of Edward Snowden and will not apologize for what he did. He said he loves his son and is proud of him and his trip to Russia, if it takes place, will be legitimate.
A lawyer for Lon Snowden said Snowden's relatives have already contacted the Russian ambassador to the US in regard of their possible visit to Russia. He said they will try to organize their meeting and make it good for everybody.
Lon Snowden thanked the people of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and the Russian government for their courage, strength, and conviction that Edward Snowden should be safe.
He also thanked lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, who has provided consultations to Edward Snowden.
Lon Snowden reiterated that he would like to see his son return to the US, but not now.
He said he is hoping that his son will return to the US and will face trial and there will be open dialogue.
However, he said the events that occurred in the past 5-6 weeks, which he had not expected from the US justice system, showed that there is no reason to believe that Edward Snowden will get a fair trial.
Earlier, the Washington Post cited the Coast Guard veteran as saying the FBI had previously tried to send him to Moscow so that he could talk his son into coming back to the US.
Snowden's father confirms he gets proposal from FBI to fly to Moscow
Lon Snowden, the father of ex-CIA officer Edward Snowden who is stuck in the Sheremetyevo transit zone, has confirmed that he got a proposal from the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to fly to Moscow several weeks ago.
He said he would like to more clearly understand why the FBI proposes him to fly to Russia.
Snowden's father urges his son to remain in Russia 'until we have assurances that he would receive a fair trial'
Edward Snowden's father defended his son's actions and slammed those who would focus on the "sinner" rather than the "sins" the younger Snowden revealed to the world, Lon Snowden said in an interview with CNN.
"He loves his country. I know my son. I know he loves his country. What he believed is that ... the American people needed to be aware of what their government was doing to them, spying upon them," Lon Snowden said.
Lon Snowden said that he keeps indirect contacts with his son and that he believes Edward is in reasonably good spirits.
"There has been a clear effort by those who have been threatened politically and/or embarrassed by these revelations to focus on the, so to speak, sinner - my son who has revealed these - instead of the sins, the actual revelations. It's clear they don't want to discuss that," Lon Snowden said.
Edward Snowden is seeking asylum in Russia because of the fears that he would be tortured and would face the death penalty if returned to the United States.
"Our national character, much as with individuals, is determined by what we do when we think that no one is watching, when we think that we won't be held accountable. And it's not just a matter of what's legal, of what's constitutional. It's a matter of what's ethical," Lon Snowden told CNN.
US attorney general letter has not changed Russia's position on Snowden - source
US Attorney General Erick Holder's letter to the Russian justice minister has not changed the Russian position on ex-CIA employee Edward Snowden, who has been staying in the transit area of the Sheremetyevo Airport for more than a month, sources familiar with the situation told Interfax.
"The Russian side has carefully studied Holder's letter and sent him a reply. Russia's position remains unchanged: US citizen Edward Snowden cannot be extradited to the United States, because he has not crossed [the border] into Russia, and also because the two countries have no bilateral agreement on extradition," one of the sources said.
"By law, extradition requests are to be processed within three months," he also said.
Another source with knowledge of the contents of the letter, said Holder insists that Russia deny asylum to the former CIA employee.
"The US attorney general argued that Snowden cannot be considered a refugee and must be extradited," the source said.
US willing to give Snowden limited validity passport
The US guarantees the Russian government that Snowden will not face the death penalty or torture.
Washington informed Moscow they can give “a limited validity passport” to former CIA-contractor Edward Snowden, who is reportedly in the transit area of Moscow’s airport Sheremetyevo now, for his “direct return to the US”, the Russian Ministry of Justice said.
Ministry of Justice officials reminded that US Attorney General Eric Holder had sent them a letter regarding Snowden.
"The letter said that Edward Snowden remained a US citizen and they can give him “a limited validity passport for direct return to the US", the Ministry of Justice added.
The US attorney general's letter, "among other issues, mentioned the American side's readiness to provide the Russian government with assurances that Snowden will not be sentenced to the death penalty in the event of his return to the United States," he said.
Holder's letter does not contain the term "forcible return", the Russian ministry spokesman said.
The Russian Justice Ministry has already sent a reply to Holder's letter, the spokesman said, refusing to provide further details.
DOJ vows not to seek death penalty for Snowden
US Department of Justice has announced its readiness to give assurances that the death penalty for ex-CIA contractor Edward Snowden would not be applied if he comes back to the States. This was confirmed by the Russian Ministry of Justice cited by news agency ITAR-Tass.
Russian justice ministry replies to DOJ request for Snowden’s handover
Russia’s Ministry of Justice has sent an official reply to the US Department of Justice that requested extradition of former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden who blew the lid off America’s dragnet spying program.
The ministry told the Russian media on Tuesday the “answer to [US Attorney General Eric] Holder’s letter has been submitted to the US.”
The Russian justice office has not commented on the nature of its response.