Snowden asks to remain in Russia for three more years

Snowden asks to remain in Russia for three more years
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Former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden is requesting an extended residency permit in Russia for three more years.

His lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said his permit was due for expiration in April of this year, according to a report by CNN.

"Yes, a couple of days ago we have filed documents to extend his permit for three more years and we hope it will be satisfied," Kucherena said, according to Russian state news agency TASS.

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Snowden has been accused of espionage and theft of government property in the U.S. for leaking details about an NSA intelligence and surveillance program to the media in 2013.

Since then, he has been living in exile in Moscow after he initially fled to Hong Kong. In 2017, the Russian government granted an extended residency to him until 2020.

Congress released a report in 2016 that claimed Snowden had been in contact with Russian officials since his arrival to Russia, which Snowden denies.

In September of last year, the American whistleblower said he would return to the U.S. if he could be guaranteed a fair trial.