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MOSCOW, November 12 (Itar-Tass World Service) - Everything that is being exposed over the phone tapping by the U.S. security services in Germany, France and other European countries “is based on the classified materials that fugitive CIA contractor Edward Snowden passed to the journalists back in Hong Kong,” head of the Russian Public Chamber committee for security problems of people and cooperation with the law enforcement agencies and chairman of the Public Council at the Russian Interior Ministry lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said. He became widely known recently as a lawyer, who protects Edward Snowden’s interests in Russia. Member of the presidium of the Association of Russian Lawyers Mikhail Barshchevsky discussed Snowden’s status and his life in Russia with Kucherena. Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily published the interview on Tuesday.
Kucherena confirmed that he discussed with Snowden Russian President Vladimir Putin’s condition to grant residence permit to him, actually temporary asylum and the termination of anti-American activity. In his words, Snowden asked, what he could do, if he staying in Hong Kong, passed the materials about bugging, unlawful and illegal actions of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Agency (NSA) and etc to journalists. Snowden said that he understands Putin’s position, but he cannot take back these materials. Even he asks about it, the copies will remain all the same.
Speaking in which status and in which form Snowden would be able to speak with German deputies, Kucherena suggested that he can do it in the status of a witness, if the German law enforcement agencies open a criminal case over possible eavesdropping of German Chancellor Angela Merkel or other political and public figures. “But as far as I understand the so-called anti-spying legislation is in effect between the United States and Germany and as long as he arrives in Germany, the country should hand him over to the U.S. But he can give testimony to German lawmakers here, in Russia,” Kucherena said.
Speaking on what money Snowden lives the lawyer pledged that the latter “has never traded secrets and certainly did not receive any money for the information, which he passed being in Hong Kong.”
“I can confirm this with confidence proceeding from his current position,” Kucherena said. “The savings, which he had, he almost completely spent for food, housing rent, guarding and etc. Meanwhile, some organizations and active people give some aid to him, including the material aid,” he said.
Anatoly Kucherena believes that with due account of Edward Snowden’s professional level in the IT technologies “a good future awaits him in any country in the world.” “Still, if he leaves Russia, he will lose the status of refugee,” the Russian lawyer added.