MOSCOW, July 01, /ITAR-TASS/. Moscow-based lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, who represents the interests of the former CIA technical analyst Edward Snowden currently staying on the terms of temporary asylum in Russia, has declined to confirm or to refute the reports that his client has ostensibly filed a request with the Federal Migration Service asking it to prolong his asylum for another twelve months.
Izvestia daily said in an article published in the Tuesday edition a source at the Federal Migration Service who asked to withhold his name told it Snowden had filed a petition asking to extend his provisional asylum for another twelve months.
The petition was believably filed with the Moscow region branch of the service.
“I’m out of the city and I don’t know anything,” lawyer Kucherena told Itar-Tass when he was asked to comment on the article.
The source quoted by Izvestia said Snowden was to apply to the service for the prolongation not later than June 30, as the documents certifying his right for asylum would expire July 31 and if he wanted to continue staying in Russia he was to notify the migration service about his decision a month before the date.
A week ago, officials at the migration service refused to comment on the information about a possibility of prolongation of Snowden’s asylum. Valentina Kazakova, the chief of the department for the issues of citizenship told reporter information of this kind was confidential and it could not be disclosed to the media.
Federal Migration Service director Konstantin Romodanovsky said at the beginning of June a decision on prolongation of the term of asylum would be taken by the Moscow region branch of the service if Snowden filed an application with it.
Anatoly Kucherena has said on many occasions in the past Snowden will decide on his own whether or not to ask for an extension of the asylum in Russia proceeding from the danger of criminal prosecution against him in the U.S.
According to the lawyer, his client makes the biggest emphasis on security and proceeding from this consideration he may ask for a prolongation of his stay.
Snowden received interim asylum August 1, 2013, for twelve months. He fled to Russia in June 2013 after bringing to public eye the information on the U.S. program of global electronic shadowing. He spent more than a month in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport.
President Vladimir Putin gave assurances at an annual press conference December 19 that Russian secret services were not doing “any operative work with Snowden”.
Back at home, Snowden faces charges under two clauses of the U.S. espionage act passed in 1917 - an unauthorized disclosure of confidential information that has a bearing on national defense and a conscientious handover of U.S. intelligence services data to the individuals who do not have the right to obtain information of this kind.
Besides, he is charged with stealing U.S. government property.
Each of the charges may bring up to ten years in jail to him.