Skip to main content

‘No chance’ of a fair trial in the US, says Snowden

National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden has said that there is "no chance" he would have a fair trial in the US due to failings in the current law.

Snowden was responding to a question from CNN news anchor Jake Tapper at a live Q&A event on Thursday evening held by the Free Snowden website.

Currently living in Russia having been granted asylum, Snowden was asked by Tapper under what conditions he would agree to return to the US.

"Returning to the US, I think, is the best resolution for the government, the public, and myself, but it's unfortunately not possible in the face of current whistleblower protection laws, which through a failure in law did not cover national security contractors like myself," Snowden responded.

Related: The year the NSA hacked the world: A 2013 PRISM timeline

With reference to a law that was put in place a century ago, Snowden claimed that he was denied a public interest defence because the crime he has been accused of committing did not take into account people working in the public interest.

"This is especially frustrating, because it means there's no chance to have a fair trial, and no way I can come home and make my case to a jury," he said.

"Maybe when Congress comes together to end the programs the PCLOB just announced was illegal, they'll reform the Whistleblower Protection Act, and we'll see a mechanism for all Americans, no matter who they work for, to get a fair trial."