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LONDON, March 7. /TASS/. Edward Snowden, a former employee of the US National Security Agency (NSA), who disclosed electronic spying methods used by the US secret services, should have an opportunity to make his case in court, former NSA Deputy Director Chris Inglis told TASS on the sidelines of the World Cyber Security Congress in London.
"I believe that he should have an opportunity to make his case in court," Inglis said. "He has been accused of a serious crime that can only be judged in a proper court of law. He can’t be judged, sentenced to jail or pardoned by an individual. He should, in a traditional manner, come into a court, make his case, be properly represented by a lawyer and then, whatever outcome there is, people should respect it," the former NSA deputy director added.
However, according to Inglis, Snowden "has shown himself unwilling to do that." "I wish him no particular evil, especially given where I was and how he affected the organization that I was with, but I do wish him justice. I do wish that he makes his case because he has said things that I personally believe are untrue and he has made allegations that are not revelations and I would like to hear that discussed and considered in a court of law."
Inglis also said that "if that court holds him harmless, so be it. I have to believe in the system of justice." "If that court condemns him to jail for some period of time, so be it. I don’t wish him any additional malice. But everyone I know across that period of time has had to face up to some degree of accountability," he added.
Inglis went on saying that "I testified before Congress, I spoke with any number of reporters and I think that I have come through intact." He noted that "Snowden essentially left because he didn’t want to face that scrutiny. He has declared he didn’t think he could get a fair hearing." "It’s been three and a half years… he should cut his ties to the United States and live his life elsewhere but… if he cares for the American process then he should come back and make his case just like others have done," the former NSA deputy director concluded.
In 2013, Snowden, a civil employee of the National Security Agency, disclosed electronic spying methods used by the US secret services, including tapping the telephones of foreign leaders. In his attempts to escape persecution by the US authorities, Snowden asked more than 20 countries, including Russia, for political asylum. On August 1, 2014 he was granted a residence permit in Russia and has since remained in the country.
In the United States Snowden is charged under two articles of the spying law. Each of the charges is punishable with a maximum of ten years in prison. US officials have said more than once they consider Snowden to be a traitor and have no intention of pardoning him as he caused serious damage to the national security.