31 Jul 2013

Snowden's father considering FBI request

10:10 pm on 31 July 2013

The father of American fugitive Edward Snowden has said the FBI asked him to travel to Moscow and see his son.

Edward Snowden has been stranded in transit in the city's international airport for more than five weeks as he has no valid travel documents and is sought by the United States for leaking details of its electronic surveillance programmes, the BBC reports.

Lonnie Snowden said he had been asked several weeks ago about his son, but wants to know the FBI's intentions and what it wants him to do, he told Russian state TV.

Mr Snowden claimed his son would not get a fair trial in America and said that if he were in Edward's place, he would stay in Russia.

He described his son as a "true patriot" who had "made America a more democratic country" by revealing secret details of the US National Security Agency's surveillance programmes.

Edward Snowden arrived in Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport on 23 June from Hong Kong, where he had made his revelations. He has requested temporary asylum in Russia, while saying he hopes eventually to go to Latin America.

The Snowden affair has caused diplomatic ructions around the world, upsetting America's close allies and traditional enemies.

US Attorney General Eric Holder has given Moscow an assurance that he will not face the death penalty if extradited to America, but the Russians say they do not intend handing him over.