US Government Files Charges Against Edward Snowden

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden has been charged with three felonies for leaking classified information about US surveillance programs. A sealed criminal complaint charged Snowden with espionage, theft, and conversion of government property. Prosecutors have reportedly asked Hong Kong to detain the American whistleblower on a provisional arrest warrant.

Edward Snowden Credit: Reuters

Edward Snowden
Credit: Reuters

The complaint was filed in eastern Virginia, where Booz Allen Hamilton- the former employer of Snowden- is located. With their charges set, prosecutors now have 60 days to seek an indictment, at which point they can secure Snowden’s extradition for trial in the US. However, Snowden will be able to fight his extradition in court in Hong Kong.

Documents leaked by Snowden revealed several massive surveillance programs that were part of the government’s counterterrorism efforts. A media maelstrom ensued, with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle calling for his prosecution as an American traitor.

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