Lawyer: Snowden ‘Intends To Stay In Russia’

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In this handout photo provided by The Guardian, Edward Snowden speaks during an interview in Hong Kong. (credit: The Guardian via Getty Images)

In this handout photo provided by The Guardian, Edward Snowden speaks during an interview in Hong Kong. (credit: The Guardian via Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — The lawyer for National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden says the American fugitive will live in Russia.

Lawyer Anatoly Kucherena tells Russia Today that Snowden remains in the transit zone at the Sheremetyevo airport for now until his asylum request is processed. AFP earlier reported that Russia gave Snowden documents allowing him to leave the airport.

Snowden has been in the airport’s transit area since June 23 after fleeing Hong Kong in fear of getting extradited to the United States.

Last month Snowden leaked documents revealing that the NSA, as part of its anti-terrorism efforts, had collected the phone records of millions of Americans. A second NSA program called PRISM forces major Internet firms to turn over the detailed contents of communications such as emails, video chats, pictures and more.

Kucherena says Snowden’s temporary asylum plea is still being reviewed by Russian immigration authorities.

Snowden “intends to stay in Russia, study Russian culture,” Kucherena said, according to The Associated Press.

The U.S. State Department has revoked Snowden’s visa.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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