Snowden applies to extend Russian asylum

 

Edward Snowden has filed a petition to extend his asylum in Russia for another year, his lawyer said, according to Kremlin-backed news outlet Russian Television (RT).

"We have submitted documents to prolong his stay in Russia,” Snowden’s lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said Wednesday. "The procedure is very simple if a citizen of any country would like to stay and live in Russia. In this case we are talking about Snowden, so we have fulfilled the procedure to receive temporary asylum."

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Kucherna did not say whether Snowden would seek a different status, such as Russian citizenship, RT noted. 

“The decision lies with the Federal Migration Service,” Kucherna said when asked what status Snowden might be granted.

Snowden was granted temporary asylum for one year in August by the Russian government. He first arrived in Moscow in late June 2013 but became stranded in the airport for more than a month after flying there from Hong Kong.

In early June, the former National Security Agency contractor began leaking highly classified U.S. documents to journalists around the world about governments' intelligence activities. Snowden has continued leaking these documents. The most recent disclosure reveals that the NSA and FBI have spied on prominent Muslim-Americans. 

Snowden faces espionage charges in the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder rejected the idea earlier this year of granting him clemency but said he was open to holding talks with Snowden if he pleads guilty to the charges.