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Russia has no legal grounds to extradite Snowden: lawyer

Updated: 2013-07-17 21:35
( Xinhua)

Russia has no legal grounds to extradite Snowden: lawyer
Former intelligence agency contractor Edward Snowden (C) and Sarah Harrison (L) of WikiLeaks speak to human rights representatives in Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport July 12, 2013.  [Photo/Agencies]

MOSCOW - Russia has no legal grounds to extradite fugitive US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden, said a lawyer on Wednesday.

Anatoli Kucherena, a Russian lawyer who provides legal aid for Snowden, said that Russia and the United States have no agreement on re-admission. Russia, therefore, cannot extradite Snowden, who has not committed any crime on Russian territory, he said.

Snowden may also apply for Russian citizenship, Kucherena said, adding that the former US spy agency contractor does not want to leave Russia until he is granted temporary asylum.

Snowden filed an official request for temporary asylum in Russia on Tuesday. The process of granting refugee status in Russia normally takes three to six months.

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