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Snowden 'to build a life in Russia'

Former US spy agency contractor's lawyer says the fugitive has been granted temporary asylum in Russia for one year.

Last Modified: 02 Aug 2013 02:29
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Edward Snowden will publish no more leaks but instead look to build a life in Russia where he has been granted a year-long asylum, his lawyer has said.

Anatoly Kucherena, a lawyer who is assisting Snowden, said the 30-year-old has found shelter in a private home of American expatriates after leaving Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport following more than five weeks in limbo.

A pledge not to publish more information that could harm the United States was the condition under which Russian President Vladimir Putin said the American could receive safe harbour.

But Snowden's promise does not extend to the WikiLeaks anti-secrecy group to which he has already handed over much of his material, Kucherena said. He has also said that Snowden does not believe his earlier leaks had done harm to his homeland. 

"Edward assured me that he is not planning to publish any documents that blacken the American government," Kucherena said. "But before that he said... when he was in Hong Kong he gave a part of that material to journalists, so that material, of course, he can't take back."

Snowden's Russian visa.

It is likely to do little to appease the White House, which wants Snowden sent home to face trial for leaking details of secret government surveillance programmes and which has signalled the president, Barack Obama, may boycott a summit with Putin over the case. 

Kucherena said Snowden wanted to rent a flat and find work in Russia, and has no immediate plans to leave.

"Snowden is an expert, a very high-level expert and I am receiving letters from companies and citizens who would eagerly give him a job. He will not have any problems," he said. 

"He needs to work. He is not a rich man, and the money that he had, he has of course, spent on food. Of course, he understands that he has to work and he has to keep on living."

Snowden was already offered a job by Russia's top social networking site on Thursday, hours after the former intelligence contractor received asylum in Russia.

Moscow has refused Washington's repeated requests to hand Snowden over to face trial on espionage charges after he leaked details of secret US surveillance programmes involving phone and Internet data.

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Source:
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