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Snowden's father: "Russia is the safest place for my son"

Wednesday, Jul 31, 2013 - 01:42

July 31 - Edward Snowden's father says he's rejected an FBI offer to fly him to Moscow to meet with his son, adding he believes Russia has the ''conviction'' to withstand U.S. pressure to extradite the former government contractor. Deborah Gembara reports.

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Edward Snowden is still holed up at this Moscow airport -- his home for the last five weeks --- and for now, that's just fine with his father. SOUNDBITE: Lonnie Snowden, Father of former U.S. contractor Edward Snowden saying: "I believe this from my heart that Russia is the safest place for my son. And the fact is, that if he chooses to spend the rest of his life there, I'm comfortable with that." The former NSA government contractor faces espionage charges for disclosing U.S. government secrets. He's applied for temporary asylum in Russia. The U.S. has sought to assure Moscow that they would not torture or execute Snowden if he were extradited. For Lonnie Snowden, his son's safety remains priority one. SOUNDBITE: Lonnie Snowden, Father of former U.S. contractor Edward Snowden saying: "Considering the actions that have been taken, particularly with grounding of (Bolivian President) Evo Morales' aircraft when they thought my son was on that, that I feel that Russia has the strength and resolve and the conviction to protect my son." Speaking from Washington, Snowden says he rejected an FBI offer to fly him to Russia. SOUNDBITE: Lonnie Snowden, Father of former U.S. contractor Edward Snowden saying: "To be an emotional tool for the FBI to use against my son - to say 'your father's out on the aircraft, why don't you come talk to him' - I wasn't interested in that. I wanted to make sure there was value to my son." (WHITE FLASH) SOUNDBITE: Lonnie Snowden, Father of former U.S. contractor Edward Snowden saying: "Ed, I hope you are watching. Your family is well and we love you." He added that it should be up to the American public to decide whether or not his son is a criminal. A recent poll shows about half of Americans support the NSA's electronic data collection program, one of the surveillance operations revealed by Snowden.

Snowden's father: "Russia is the safest place for my son"

Wednesday, Jul 31, 2013 - 01:42

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