Snowden’s lawyer denies his client spying for Russia

Moscow, Jan 23: Gossips about alleged involvement of the Russian secret services to the saga of the former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden are “utter rave”, Snowden’s lawyer said Wednesday.

“This is utter rave and provocation,” reported Xinhua citing Anatoly Kucherena in a report, and he added that Snowden was forced to do what he has done by the US authorities themselves.

The lawyer also mentioned that Snowden’s initial intention was to go to Latin America but the whistleblower was trapped in Moscow after Washington cancelled his passport en route.

Kucherena suggested that if his client reached Ecuador or any other country, the US would accuse him of cooperation with that country’s secret services.

In October, the lawyer said Snowden found a job in Russia.

Snowden, during a telephonic interview, said that the claims were baseless, as the spies were better treated than “being left to live in a Moscow airport for more than a month while in legal limbo”.

The fugitive whistleblower has been in Russia since last June. In August, Snowden obtained a year-long residential permit in Russia as a refugee to avoid penalty for leaking some 1.7 million secret documents to the media.

His status will be cancelled once Snowden leaves Russia.