The recent sentencing of US Army Private Bradley Manning clearly demonstrates that there will be no fair trial in the United States for Edward Snowden, another intelligence leaker who is wanted in the US for espionage charges, his Russian attorney said.
After months of legal battle, a US military judge sentenced Manning to 35 years in prison Wednesday for handing a trove of secret government documents to anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.
Among the 700,000 files leaked by Manning was a video of a 2007 US helicopter attack in Baghdad that reportedly killed a dozen civilians including a Reuters cameraman and his driver.
Snowden, a former contractor to the National Security Agency (NSA), has also brought embarrassment to Washington by blowing the lid on some of the government’s secret documents.
He has revealed to the news media details of the US government’s secret surveillance programs that collect phone and Internet data of Americans and also spy on foreign countries including US allies in Europe and Latin America.
Anatoly Kucherena, who became an attorney for Snowden after the whistleblower fled to Russia, said they have recently discussed the Manning trial in a private conversation.
“Even if Edward thought of returning to the United States to stand a fair trial, in this case it is absolutely evident that absolutely no one pays attention to a person’s stance, to his motives. Everything is about putting a person to prison for revealing information,” Kucherena said on Wednesday.
“If Manning is sentenced to 35 years for revealing information about the killings of peaceful civilians, how can we speak about justice being served, including in Edward’s case?” he said.
Snowden fled to Russia to avoid criminal prosecution in the United States. He remained holed up in Moscow’s international airport for about a month before being granted temporary asylum earlier this month.
US President Barack Obama whose administration has come under fire for “waging a war” on whistleblowers expressed dismay at Moscow’s decision to give asylum to the American fugitive and accused Russia of slipping into “a Cold War mentality.”
By Press TV
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