Snowden's father secures visa to visit son in Russia
Former U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) leaker Edward Snowden's father Lon Snowden has secured documents to visit the whistleblower in Russia, the elder Snowden and his lawyer Bruce Fein said Saturday.
They made the revelation during an interview on ABC's This Week. They declined to reveal Snowden's whereabouts in Russia and the schedule of their visit because of the frenzy around the issue. But Fein said the trip would happen "very soon."
Anatoly Kucherena, Snowden's lawyer in Russia, said last week he had sent Lon Snowden the required invitation to visit Russia, a step toward securing a visa. He said then he hoped a visit would happen in the coming days.
Snowden had been stranded at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport for six weeks after Washington revoked his passport. He faces espionage charges in the United States after disclosing a classified intelligence surveillance project code-named PRISM.
Although asked by the U.S. side to send him home for a trial, Russia granted Snowden a year-long asylum on Aug. 1, which worsened the U.S.-Russian relations and prompted President Barack Obama to cancel a scheduled meeting with Putin in September.
Obama on Friday pledged to implement plans to increase transparency and oversight of the surveillance programs to restore confidence and address public outcry.
On Sunday the elder Snowden criticized the Obama administration's handling of the case, saying he would like his son to return to the U.S. only if his son could get a fair trial.
"I believe much of what he suggested is superficial," Lon said to the ABC program.
"If you consider the statements by our leaders, leaders in Congress, they are irresponsible and inconsistent with our system of justice," he said. "They have poisoned the well in terms of a jury pool."