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Snowden's Lawyer Calls for Termination of His Persecution As Trump Mulls Pardon for Whistleblower

Earlier, US President Donald Trump said that he would seriously consider the possibility of pardoning ex-National Security Agency (NSA) employee Edward Snowden.

All persecution of former US intelligence officer Edward Snowden should be stopped, the lawyer representing his interests in Russia, Anatoly Kucherena, said on Sunday following Trump's statement on a possible pardon for the whistleblower.

According to Kucherena, a "pardon" is not applicable in Snowden's case, as his client committed no crime.

"There are no grounds to talk about crimes, since Snowden spoke of gross violations of the rights and freedoms not only of American citizens, but also citizens of other states," the lawyer said.

Earlier, US President Donald Trump said he would look into pardoning National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Snowden's Case

Snowden was granted temporary asylum in Russia in 2013 after he fled the United States, where he had worked for the Central Intelligence Agency before joining the National Security Agency.

While at the NSA, Snowden leaked a trove of classified intelligence data detailing the US domestic surveillance programme. The docs showed that the US had tapped Internet cables, collected phone records and emails, including records of world leaders, and tracked the location of cell phones.

Edward Snowden, a former CIA worker before turning whistleblower, speaks via satellite at the IT fair CeBIT in Hanover, Germany, Tuesday March 21, 2017 - Sputnik International
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Since June 2013, he has been wanted in the United States on two counts of violating the Espionage Act and theft of government property.

Snowden fled the US to Hong Kong, but after facing extradition to his home country, he sought refuge in Russia, where in 2014 he was granted a three-year residence permit which was prolonged in 2017.

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