MOSCOW, March 12. /TASS/. U.S. National Security Agency [NSA] whistleblower Edward Snowden should not expect a fair trial in the United States, his lawyer Anatoly Kucherena told the Russian News Service radio station on Saturday.
"It is impossible to speak about an honest, fair and unbiased trial when we hear political statements every day," said Kucherena, a member of Russia’s Presidential Council on Human Rights.
Kucherena has noted that Snowden does not conceal his desire to return to the U.S.
"He is a patriot of the United States," he said. "He told me more than once that he was missing his homeland and would like to come back."
Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor, in 2013 leaked to media documents revealing details of a global surveillance apparatus run by the NSA in close cooperation with the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.
Snowden has been charged of violating the U.S. Espionage Act and theft of government property in the United States, with each of the charges carrying a punishment of up to ten years in prison. In a bid to escape punishment, Snowden applied for asylum in more than 20 countries, including Russia. In 2013, he was granted a temporary asylum in Russia after spending more than a month in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport. In August of 2014, as the asylum expired, Snowden received a three-year residency permit in Russia.