Hillary Clinton: NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Should Have Right to Legal Defense in US
Hillary Clinton: NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Should Have Right to Legal Defense in US (Credit: Video Screengrab)

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton says National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden should have the right to legal and public defense if he returns to the U.S. She told the Guardian, “If he wishes to return knowing he would be held accountable and also able to present a defence, that is his decision to make.”

When Clinton was asked if she believed the Espionage Act – passed in 1917 – should be reformed in order to allow Snowden a defence, she claimed not to know what the whistleblower had been charged with as they were “sealed indictments”.

“In any case that I’m aware of as a former lawyer, he has a right to mount a defence,” she said. “And he certainly has a right to launch both a legal defence and a public defence, which can of course affect the legal defence.

“Whether he chooses to return or not is up to him. He certainly can stay in Russia, apparently under Putin’s protection, for the rest of his life if that’s what he chooses. But if he is serious about engaging in the debate then he could take the opportunity to come back and have that debate. But that’s his decision.” Source: Guardian

Edward Snowden was charged under the U.S. Espionage Act and was accused of stealing government property and sharing classified documents with the Guardian and the Washington Post.