Holder: Snowden won’t face death penalty

In a letter to the Russian government, the U.S. Attorney General said the leaker won't be executed

Topics: National security, Edward Snowden, Russia, Eric Holder, Legal issues, Vladimir Putin, ,

Holder: Snowden won't face death penaltyEdward Snowden (Credit: AP)

Attorney General Eric Holder said the U.S. won’t seek the death penalty for Edward Snowden, the fugitive who leaked classified practices of the National Security Administration to journalists. Snowden, who has applied for asylum in Russia, has been living in the transit zone of a Moscow airport for more than a month and has applied for temporary asylum in Russia. If he returned to the U.S. he would face espionage charges.

CBS reports:

Holder says his letter follows news reports that Snowden, who leaked information on largely secret electronic surveillance programs, has filed papers seeking temporary asylum in Russia on grounds that if he were returned to the United States, he would be tortured and would face the death penalty.

The attorney general’s letter was sent to Alexander Vladimirovich Konovalov, the Russian minister of justice.

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Alex Halperin is news editor at Salon. You can follow him on Twitter @alexhalperin.

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