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  • Dec 26, 2014
  • Updated: 4:41pm
Edward Snowden

Snowden: hope of a fair trial in US 'destroyed'

Whistle-blower takes questions from people around the world as Beijing denies claims from US politicians that he is working for China

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 June, 2013, 12:03pm

Whistle-blower Edward Snowden last night accused the US government of destroying "any possibility of a fair trial" as he took questions in a live webchat organised by The Guardian newspaper.

It was only the second time Snowden had spoken since revealing himself as the man behind a series of leaks on US cybersurveillance and hacking operations.

He accused the US government of "openly declaring me guilty of treason" and saying that "the disclosure of secret, criminal, and even unconstitutional acts is an unforgivable crime".

"That's not justice, and it would be foolish to volunteer yourself to it if you can do more good outside of prison than in it," he said in reply to a question from Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald.

He claimed not to have revealed US operations against legitimate military targets, only attacks on civilian infrastructure including hospitals and universities, which he described as "nakedly, aggressively criminal acts".

Asked why he chose to fly to Hong Kong rather than directly to Iceland, the country he claims he wants to seek asylum in, Snowden said: "There was a distinct possibility I would be interdicted en route, so I had to travel with no advance booking to a country with the cultural and legal framework to allow me to work without being immediately detained.

"Hong Kong provided that. Iceland could be pushed harder, quicker, before the public could have a chance to make their feelings known."

Hundreds of questions were posted by readers of the online chat, which started at 11pm Hong Kong time.

"The US Government is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me," Snowden said in reply to a question about whether he had made more copies of the documents he disclosed.

Snowden's comments came on the day Beijing responded for the first time to the US cybersnooping programme he exposed, denying an allegation Snowden was spying for Beijing and demanding that Washington explain the operation to the international community.

"It is sheer nonsense," said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying when asked at a daily news briefing to comment on the allegation put forward by former US vice-president Dick Cheney and other US politicians.

"The US should pay attention to the concerns and demands of the international community and the public over the issue, and provide a necessary explanation to the international community."

On Fox News Sunday, Cheney said China would "probably be willing to provide immunity for [Snowden] or sanctuary for him in exchange for what he presumably knows or doesn't know".


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The Americans are now really Sh....ng bricks.............they will say anything to defend themselves from this humonguous embarrassment.........
WHY HONG KONG? Because in Hong Kong (unlike anywhere in the US) you can walk down the street and drink a cold beer without getting arrested. That's why I'm here!
"...with the cultural and legal framework to allow me to work without being immediately detained". What he meant to say is, the Government of Hong Kong is more inept and the Hong Kong public more gullible.
hard times !
either it was the second time or third time that Mr.Snowden talked to the media (including this SCMP) is not so important compared with the cyberspying activities committed by the NSA of America against we Hong Kong people ever since 2009.The worldwide secret monitoring acts exerted upon the public of the world,including our 4 million netizens by the Big Brother,America---the self-anointed World Cop really counts.Our Hong Kong Internet Exchange located at Chinese Univ.in Shatin has been hacked into by the NSA of America.That Exchange handles all our e-communciations.Now even our students'computers were said to have been hacked by that now-notorious intelligence agency.Have they anything to do with so-called anti-terrorism or terrorism ? I wonder.Our lawmakers have to ask the U.S.government (or at least their Consulate General here) to give us a reasonable and acceptable explanation for their hackings into our computers in the past four years and a promise not to do such acts in the future ! Now only the Law Society has expressed concern over the cyber-surveillance directed at Hongkongers since 2009.Our security in e-communications and our light-fibre undersea cables landing sites at Tseung Kwun O and Chun Hun Kok have to be highly protected as today's Ming Pao editorial suggests,once there is a war between China and America,the HKIEx at C.U.and these two undersea cables landing sites would be destroyed by America promptly and our communications with outside world curbed.
Hmm. Are your personal communications more likely to be read or listened to on Tom/Skype or from Fort Meade, home of the NSA?
Get a grip.
not sure why it says the "second time" has spoken. He spoke to the Guardian first in the video filmed at the W, he spoke to SCMP for their exclusive. Wouldn't the webchat count as the third time?
hard times !
not only without being detained but even kidnapped by the stationed CIAs or recently sent here or even murdered right here in Hong Kong though it is now no longer a British colony but a part of China.The Big Bro.(so-called World Cops) used to act like the secret agents of Isreal, would probably commit murder(s) in other countries without hesitation or worrying about violating other nations' sovereignty at all. Right ? If large-scale invasions of other countries could be done on excuses/wrong accusations of owning Mass Destructive Weapons (e.g.Iraq which was found to have none after the invasion !),the killing/murder of her own citizen(s) is really nothing at all. So now the security of this leaker-hero is really at great risk though he might be heavily protected by our security men or even men from China's National Security Bureau who came here these days..


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