France dismisses Edward Snowden’s asylum request
Almaty. September 23. KazTAG -France won't grant asylum to Edward Snowden, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said, reports politico.eu.
"He asked for asylum in France, but also elsewhere, in 2013. At that time, France thought that it was not appropriate, I do not see anything that has changed Thursday, either from a political or a legal point of view," Le Drian told French TV station CNews.
Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who was behind one of the largest intelligence leaks in U.S. history, told French radio earlier this week that he would be happy to leave Russia and move to France.
He has lived in Russia since 2013 after fleeing the U.S., where he is accused of violating the Espionage Act.
Le Drian's comments come after French Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet and MEP Nathalie Loiseau said they would be in favor of offering asylum to the whistleblower.
An adviser to French President Emmanuel Macron hinted earlier this week that welcoming Snowden to France would lead to a major diplomatic fallout with the U.S.
The U.S. Department of Justice is suing the former NSA contractor for the earnings of his new memoir — “Permanent Record” — on the grounds that the book is in violation of non-disclosure agreements signed by Snowden with both the CIA and the NSA.
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