Edward Snowden's extradition report is speculation, says lawyer

Anatoly Kucherena, who has been representing Snowden since his arrival in Russia in 2013, told Interfax news agency on Saturday that �Russia has no legal basis to hand over Snowden.�

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden’s Russian lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, has set aside the US report that Moscow was considering extraditing the NSA whistleblower as a “gift” to President Donald Trump.

Anatoly Kucherena, who has been representing Snowden since his arrival in Russia in 2013, told Interfax news agency on Saturday that “Russia has no legal basis to hand over Snowden.”

On Friday, US channel NBC quoted a senior US official with access to highly sensitive intelligence reports as saying Russia was considering the move “to curry favour” with Trump.


Snowden’s US lawyer Ben Wizner has also emphasised that he was not aware of such plans.

“All this talk is just ordinary speculation. Someone is indulging in wishful thinking,” Kucherena said, insisting that Snowden “lives in Russia absolutely lawfully.”

The former National Security Agency contractor shook the American intelligence establishment to its core in 2013 with a series of devastating leaks on mass surveillance in the US and around the world.

Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who shook the American intelligence establishment, has been living in exile in Russia since the summer of 2013 after spending weeks in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport.

Russia’s immigration service in January has extended Snowden’s residency permit to 2020. “Russia doesn’t trade in people and human rights, although American secret services constantly try to draw us into various acts of provocation,” Kucherena added.

Snowden wrote on Twitter on Friday that the NBC report was “irrefutable evidence that I never cooperated with Russian intel.”

“No country trades away spies, as the rest would fear they’re next,” wrote Snowden.