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Justice Department says NSA leaker won't face death penalty

July 26, 2013 at 3:42 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, July 26 (UPI) -- Former national security contractor Edward Snowden will not face the death penalty for releasing classified document, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said.

Holder said the Justice Department assurances "eliminate" claims by Snowden, accused in the United States of espionage, that he should be granted asylum or treated as a refugee, CNN reported.

A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin had said Snowden would "no doubt" stop leaking secret U.S. intelligence if he were given temporary asylum in Russia.

Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin had "expressed a firm intention to not allow" further leaks, RIA Novosti reported.

"And I have no doubt this is how it will be, no matter how the situation develops," Peskov said.

Washington has called on Moscow to reject Snowden's request for asylum and send him to the United States for trial. Peskov said the former National Security Agency contractor would not be handed over to U.S. authorities, Voice of America reported.

Snowden's father, Lon Snowden, told NBC's "Today" show Friday he was "extremely disappointed and angry" by the way his son has been portrayed.

He charged many in Congress had made a "concerted effort" to "demonize" his son so they didn't have "to talk about the fact that they had a responsibility to ensure that these programs were constitutional."

"The American people don't know the truth," he said. "The truth is coming."

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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