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Holder: No death penalty or torture for Snowden
Attorney General Eric Holder told Russian authorities that Edward Snowden would not face the death penalty or torture if he were returned to the United States, in a bid to convince the Kremlin to return the man who leaked information about top-secret National Security Agency surveillance programs.
In a letter to his Russian counterpart Alexander Vladimirovich Konovalov, Holder pledged that the government would not pursue death penalty charges against Snowden under any circumstance.
“First, the United States would not seek the death penalty for Mr. Snowden should he return to the United States. The charges he faces do not carry that possibility, and the United States would not seek the death penalty even if Mr. Snowden were charged with additional, death penalty-eligible crimes,” Holder wrote, according to TheWall Street Journal.
Snowden has been holed up in the Moscow airport for nearly a month after fleeing Hong Kong when the U.S. filed an extradition request with Chinese authorities.
A Russian immigration official said earlier this week that Snowden would soon be given a document allowing him to temporarily leave the international travel zone and travel into the country. Vladimir Volokh, head of the public council of the Russian Federal Migration Service, told the Ekho Moskvy radio station that Snowden would “only be allowed to stay in places designated by Russian law enforcement agencies.”