US whistleblower Edward Snowden’s father in Russia to meet his son

Father of US whistleblower Edward Snowden on Thursday reached Russia to meet his son.

Last Updated: Oct 10, 2013, 12:25 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha
Moscow: Father of US whistleblower Edward Snowden on Thursday reached Russia to meet his son.

Lonnie Snowden, who feels his son has not committed treason by leaking the details of US intelligence surveillance, arrived at Moscow`s Sheremetyevo airport today and thanked Russia for his son’s safety.

Speaking to reporters at Moscow`s Sheremetyevo airport, Lonnie Snowden expressed "extreme gratitude that my son is safe and secure and he`s free".

Lon Snowden, who says that he has not spoken to his son since April, has in past said his son will not receive a fair trial in the United States and would not want him to return until his safety is assured.

Snowden, who is wanted by the United States for exposing sensational details of its spying programmes, shunned his job as NSA contractor in US and left for Hong Kong on May 20 from where he left for Russia on June 23.

After remaining stuck for over five weeks in a Moscow airport’s transit zone, Snowden was given political asylum by Russia on August 1.

For exposing NSA surveillance programmes, the US government slapped charges of espionage and theft of government property on Snowden.

Both the charges carry a maximum jail sentence of 10 years each.

Granting asylum to Edward Snowden also became one of the thrones in US-Russia ties as Obama cancelled a bilateral meeting with Putin which was scheduled in September.