U.S. says it won’t seek death penalty for Snowden

U.S. says it won’t seek death penalty for Snowden

Eric Holder told Russia that the U.S. will not seek the death penalty for Edward Snowden. Photo: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Eric Holder has told the Russian government that the U.S. will not seek the death penalty for former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden.

In a letter dated July 23, the attorney general said the criminal charges Snowden faces do not carry the death penalty and that the U.S. will not seek the death penalty even if Snowden were charged with additional death penalty-eligible crimes.

Holder says his letter follows news reports that Snowden, who leaked information on largely secret electronic surveillance programs, has filed papers seeking temporary asylum in Russia on grounds that if he were returned to the United States, he would be tortured and would face the death penalty.

The attorney general’s letter was sent to Alexander Vladimirovich Konovalov, the Russian minister of justice.

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