Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who leaked information about the U.S. government's mass surveillance programs and sparked an intense national privacy debate, wants to come home, his Russian lawyer said.
"I won't keep it secret that he … wants to return back home. And we are doing everything possible now to solve this issue. There is a group of U.S. lawyers, there is also a group of German lawyers and I'm dealing with it on the Russian side," Anatoly Kucherena, a lawyer who works for Snowden, said at a news conference Tuesday, according to Reuters. Kucherena reportedly has ties to the Kremlin.
Snowden initially fled the U.S. for Hong Kong amid his bombshell NSA revelations, then later went to Russia amid tense U.S. relations with the country. Russia granted Snowden a three-year residency permit in 2013 and has refused to send him back to the U.S., where he faces espionage charges.
While many see Snowden as a hero and whistleblower for privacy rights, others consider him a traitor for putting classified national security information at risk. President Barack Obama has called for Russia to release him back to the U.S. so that he can face trial.
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