• Thu
  • Nov 27, 2014
  • Updated: 10:08am
Edward Snowden
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SECURITY

Snowden too young to spend life dodging extradition, German minister says

German minister says whistle-blower is too young to spend his life 'dodging extradition'

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 July, 2014, 9:23pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 July, 2014, 9:23pm
 

NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden is too young to spend his life dodging extradition in remote foreign locales, Germany's justice minister said in advising the fugitive to return to the United States and face the charges against him.

Snowden's grant of political asylum in Russia expires today. Although Moscow authorities may approve the extension he requested this month, the 31-year-old "surely doesn't want to spend the rest of his life being hunted," Justice Minister Heiko Maas told German news agency DPA.

Snowden, who is wanted on US espionage and theft charges, has been living in Russia since being granted temporary asylum for a year on August 1, 2013.

Before landing in Russia, the former National Security Agency contractor turned up in Hong Kong after he absconded from his job in Hawaii with millions of classified documents.

German opposition politicians have been campaigning for months to bring Snowden from Russia to Berlin to testify before a parliamentary committee investigating US surveillance practices involving Germans' private communications.

The governing coalition headed by Chancellor Angela Merkel has rejected the notion of Snowden going to Berlin to testify, citing concern that Germany would be obliged to honour a US extradition request.

And granting political asylum to the fugitive wanted by Washington on felony charges could damage relations between the Western allies.

"It's a disgrace for the Western democracies - for Germany but also for the US - that someone like Snowden needs to be taken in by a despotic ruler like Vladimir Putin, because he can't get refuge in Germany or in the US," Greens Party lawmaker Konstantin von Notz told broadcaster Deutsche Welle on Tuesday.

Justice Minister Maas' advice to Snowden to seek some agreement with the US Justice Department that would allow him to return home was seen as a rejection of the notion that Germany would take in the fugitive against US wishes.

Snowden has hinted that he would like to return to the US if he would be assured of fair treatment in the US justice system.

He told NBC's Brian Williams in an interview in May that there has never been "any question that I'd like to go home".

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This article is now closed to comments

Daniel Lee
While Edward Snowden have to find save refuge in Russia for exposing the illegal and massive spying programs of the despotic US government, the perpetrators of massive human rights violations and war crimes like George Bush, D Cheney and others are scot free.
jayb
YOU MUST BE KIDDIN' ME!!! low life free loader german government mouthpiece! while Germans are enjoying the fruit of Snowden's NSA info, they refused to offer him asylum while yapping about Snowden'd better "return to US" yeah! return to US to be like Chelsea Manning, 35 yrs in federal penitentiary with "enhanced interrogation techniques" on the side. i don't mind the germans being cowards in view of the American Imperial pressure and denied asylum to Snowden. but being a coward while accusing Snowden for seeking protection from Putin and Russia is beyond coward.. total low life hypocrites. GO TO "He ll"!

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