herald

Wednesday 18 October 2017

US leaker Snowden's father gets Russia visa

Edward Snowden. Photo: AP/Tanya Lokshina
Edward Snowden. Photo: AP/Tanya Lokshina

National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden's father has secured documents to visit his son in Russia and plans to discuss how he could fight espionage charges.

Neither Lon Snowden nor his lawyer Bruce Fein has spoken directly with the former NSA analyst since he fled the US and was given asylum in Russia, they said.

But the father and lawyer also said they look forward to meeting Edward Snowden (inset below) to consider options for the leaker to return to the United States at some point.

"As a father, I want my son to come home if I believe that the justice system ...is going to be applied correctly," Lon Snowden said.

POISONED

But the elder Snowden isn't convinced his son would get a fair hearing in court, given what he called "absolutely irresponsible" descriptions of his son's actions from President Barack Obama, his administration and top politicians from both parties.

"They have poisoned the well, so to speak, in terms of a potential jury pool," said Lon Snowden, of Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Edward Snowden angered the US intelligence agencies and upended US relations around the globe with his disclosures of highly classified programmes that allow the US to collect millions of pieces of data, including Americans' phone records.

hnews@herald.ie

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