Snowden's Legal Team Pushing for His Return to America

Snowden giving a speech via video broadcast from Moscow last month.

Nearly two years after American intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden arrived in Moscow, his international legal team is hard at work trying to secure his return to the U.S., his main Russian lawyer said Tuesday.

When asked if Snowden hoped eventually to return to America, lawyer Anatoly Kucherena replied, "Of course," RIA Novosti reported.

"He [Snowden] thinks that he has a chance to go back, and we are doing everything possible to make that happen," Kucherena explained in comments carried by the Interfax news agency.

Snowden faces espionage charges in his home country, in part for his exposure of the U.S. National Security Agency's mass surveillance of American citizens. He has been living in Russia since June 2013, having arrived shortly after his first major intelligence leak to journalists. He was granted temporary asylum in August 2013.

Snowden has a team of Russian and American lawyers, and is studying Russian to better adapt to life in the country, Kucherena said at a presentation of his new book, "Time of the Octopus." RIA Novosti described the book as a work of fiction based on Snowden's life. It is the first volume in an anticipated trilogy.

Kucherena also complained that he and Snowden have grown accustomed to being tailed at all times by unknown pursuers, RIA Novosti reported. He claimed that at one point he was forced to jump into a different car while commuting through the city in order to confuse five different vehicles that were following him at once.

"We are constantly being followed. I sometimes don't know what route to take back home," he said in comments carried by RIA Novosti. "I honestly don't know who they are. … Maybe they're journalists. I don't want to accuse anyone."

Contact the author at p.spinella@imedia.ru

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