Lawyer: NSA leaker Edward Snowden wants to return home but needs security guarantees

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FILE - This file photo image made from video released by WikiLeaks on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, shows former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden smiles during a presentation ceremony for the Sam Adams Award in Moscow, Russia. Snowden's Russian lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, said Tuesday March 3, 2015 he was eager to return to the U.S. if given security guarantees, and German and U.S. lawyers were working on the issue. (AP Photo)


MOSCOW — NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden wants to return to the United States from Russia if he's guaranteed a fair trial, his Russian lawyer said Tuesday.

Anatoly Kucherena told a news conference Tuesday that he has teamed up with U.S. and German lawyers to work on the issue, but gave no further details.

Snowden was stranded in a Moscow airport in 2013 on his way from Hong Kong to Cuba, shortly after he released extensive documentation about the National Security Agency's surveillance programs. Russia has granted him asylum, attracting the ire of the United States.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied that the nation's security agencies had worked with Snowden.

Snowden's whereabouts have not been made public. Kucherena said Snowden moves freely but is accompanied by guards. "He goes shopping, he visits museums and theaters under escort," he said.

He said Snowden's longtime girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, visited him in Moscow. "They have a very good relationship," he said, adding that he rejects other potential dates offered for Snowden.

The lawyer, who presented his book about Snowden, praised him as a "heroic and open person," who has "principles and convictions" and didn't hesitate to defy the U.S. government.

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