WASHINGTON, September 17 (Itar-Tass) - Lon Snowden, the father of former CIA technology analyst Edward Snowden, who is now living on the conditions of political asylum in Russia, has put off a trip to Russia for a meeting with his son in spite of the Russian authorities’ readiness to grant an entry visa to him, a well-informed diplomat told Itar-Tass.
Consular workers of the Russian embassy in Washington tried to make contact with him on several occasions but in the final run he failed to turn up in the Russian legation for submitting his passport, into which the Russian visa is to be stamped.
“Lon Snowden informed the Russian lawyer /Anatoly Kucherena who is representing his son - Itar-Tass/ that he had decided to put the trip off,” the source said. “He explained for his move by mentioning personal security concerns.”
In the meantime, Kucherena told reporters earlier that a number of other relatives of Edward - his mother, grandmother, and grandfather.
A well-connected source Itar-Tass spoke to confirmed that the idea of taking other members of the Snowden family to Moscow belonged to Lon Snowden.
“He believes a trip of this kind might take place at a later date,” he said.
The special feature of Lon’s visit to Moscow is that he should be accompanied by his American lawyers.
Lon Snowden made a direct contact with his son in the middle of last month, the first one after Edward’s flight from the U.S.
They exchanged encrypted messages with the aid of a securely protected chat room in the Internet. Lon took the decision on the exchange independently and in contradiction to his lawyers’ recommendations.
Edward Snowden, 30, who leaked the data on the U.S. secret services’ global program of electronic bugging and eavesdropping, was granted a temporary asylum in Russia. Prior to receiving it he had stayed for over a month in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport.
The U.S. authorities accuse Snowden Jr. of leaking classified information on the programs of digital tracking run by American secret services. He is charged with a breach of two clauses of the 1917 U.S. law on espionage - unauthorized disclosure of confidential information that has a bearing on national defense and purported transfer of U.S. security services data to the individuals who do not have the right to get them.
In addition to this, Snowden is charged with stealing U.S. government property.
He is facing a prospect of ten years in jail on each clause.