- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 16, 2020

A lawyer for Edward Snowden said Thursday that the former National Security Agency contractor has asked the Russian government to extend his residence permit.

“Yes, recently we submitted documents for extending the residence permit for three more years,” said Anatoly Kucherena, an attorney for Mr. Snowden, the TASS news agency reported.

“We hope the decision will be positive,” Mr. Kucherena added, according to the outlet.

Reached by The Washington Times later Thursday, Mr. Kucherena confirmed that he has sought the extension for Mr. Snowden.

Mr. Snowden, 36, has lived in Russia for nearly seven years while on the lam from criminal charges brought against him by the U.S. Department of Justice.

He had been hiding in Hong Kong when it was revealed in June 2013 that he was the source of classified NSA documents leaked to members of the news media. He subsequently boarded an international flight that landed at an airport in Moscow, where he became stranded for several weeks before requesting and receiving temporary asylum from the Russian government.

Moscow previously granted Mr. Snowden a three-year residence permit in 2014 and again in 2017.

Mr. Snowden did not immediately return a message requesting comment.

Mr. Snowden previously said that it was not his choice to live in Russia, and that he would return to the U.S. if he was guaranteed a trial he considered fair.

He faces up to 30 years behind bars in the U.S if convicted of the charges brought against him, including theft of government property and two counts of violating the U.S. Espionage Act.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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