WHISTLEBLOWER Edward Snowden has been granted a Russian citizenship by Vladimir Putin almost a decade after he fled the United States for leaking classified documents.
Snowden, a former intelligence contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA), fled the US back in 2013 after exposing a large scale of secret surveillance operations practiced by the defense department.
He was given asylum in Russia after leaking sensitive files, and in 2020, he was granted permanent residency in the country,
For years, US officials have wanted him returned to the United States to face a criminal trial on espionage charges.
In 2019, Snowden said he would be willing to return to the US on the condition that he is granted a fair trial.
The espionage charges Snowden faces could land him in prison for up to 30 years.
“That is the ultimate goal, but if I’m going to spend the rest of my life in prison, then my one, bottom-line demand that we all have to agree to is that at least I get a fair trial,” Snowden told CBS This Morning at the time.
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