Russia to reply to US letter on Snowden
Russia is preparing a reply to the US attorney general’s letter over the return of fugitive intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden, the Russian justice ministry said on Sunday.
The ministry said it received the letter from Eric Holder 24 July. However, it did not specify the nature of the reply and the exact date it would be ready.Holder assured his Russian counterpart Alexander Konovalov that ‘the US would not seek the death penalty even if Snowden were charged with additional, death penalty-eligible crimes’.
His letter came amid media reports that Snowden had applied for political asylum in Russia on the grounds that if he were returned to the US, he would be tortured and would face the death penalty.
The top US lawyer said these claims were ‘entirely without merit. Torture is unlawful in the US’. He said Snowden was able to travel though his passport had been revoked. ‘He is eligible for a limited validity passport good for direct return to the US’. agencies