Edward Snowden Tells CBS His ‘Ultimate Goal’ is to Return to US — But Only If He Gets a ‘Fair Trial’


Whistleblower Edward Snowden told CBS This Morning that he would be willing to return to the United States, but wants a guarantee of a fair trial as a condition.

Snowden fled the country following his disclosure of global mass surveillance programs run by the NSA on both foreign nationals and U.S. citizens. He currently resides in Russia and is promoting his soon-to-be-released memoir Permanent Record.

CBS’ Gayle King noted that “the optics are not good” given that he is currently receiving asylum in Russia, a point that Snowden agreed with.

“One of the big topics in Europe right now is should Germany and France invite me to get asylum. That’s how they’re handling the response to the new book. But when you look at that kind of thing, yeah, of course it’s problematic.” he said.

“Of course I would like to return to the United States,” Snowden said. “That is the ultimate goal. But if I’m going to spend the rest of my life in prison, then one bottom line demand that we all have to agree to is at least I get a fair trial.”

Tony Dokoupil chimed in, saying “in all due respect, criminals and alleged criminals don’t necessarily get to decide the terms of their trial. … What makes you different?”

“Well I’m not different,” Snowden responded. “Again, I’m not asking for a parade. I’m not asking for a pardon. I’m not asking for a pass. What I’m asking for is a fair trial.”

“The government wants to have a different kind of trial. They want to use special procedures. They want to be able to close the court room. They want the public not to be able to know what’s going on,” he said.

Watch above, via CBS News.

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