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Snowden awaits extended asylum in Russia: lawyer

English.news.cn   2014-07-31 20:56:00

MOSCOW, July 31 (Xinhua) -- Fugitive former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden has formally requested to extend his asylum status in Russia for another year, but the country's official decision is as yet unknown, a lawyer for Snowden said Thursday.

"Edward still remains in Russia, and we have prepared and submitted a package of documents for the permission of the temporary political asylum for him," Anatoly Kucherena told a local TV channel.

The Russian Federal Migration Service (FMS) must abide by "particular procedures," Itar-Tass news agency quoted the lawyer as saying, who added, "We hope that the issue will be resolved today or tomorrow."

The FMS granted Snowden, a former U.S. National Security Agency contractor wanted by Washington for intelligence leaks, permission for one-year asylum in Russia on Aug. 1, 2013.

Last month, Snowden said he had requested asylum from the Brazilian government, but the country's Foreign Ministry later denied receiving his request.

The FMS has not yet commented on the potential extension of Snowden's status, as FMS chief Konstantin Romodanovsky earlier called the issue "confidential."

Snowden faces three felony charges including espionage after he unveiled a highly classified U.S. intelligence project code-named "PRISM." He has traded fire with Washington over the latter's tapping of other countries ever after he arrived in Russia, where he has reportedly found a website maintenance job.

The United States and Russia have been at odds over Snowden's extradition, with Moscow repeatedly denying the case, citing absence of relevant bilateral agreements.

Editor: yanting
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