Obama Refuses To Barter For Edward Snowden

There will be no “wheeling and dealing” as part of extradition attempts against US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, President Barack Obama has said.

Barack Obama

Speaking on a visit to the West African nation of Senegal, Mr Obama said the case would be handled through routine legal channels.

“I am not going to be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker,” he added.

Mr Snowden, who faces espionage charges, flew to Moscow last weekend and requested asylum in Ecuador.

Mr Obama said on Thursday that he had not called China and Russia’s presidents about the case, adding that he needs not to.

He told a news conference in the Senegalese capital Dakar, “I’m not going to have one case of a suspect who we’re trying to extradite suddenly being elevated to the point where I’ve got to start doing wheeling and dealing and trading on a whole host of other issues.”

He added, “My continued expectation is that Russia or other countries that have talked about potentially providing Mr Snowden asylum recognise that they are a part of an international community and they should be abiding by international law.”

Mr Snowden’s case has caused a diplomatic spat, with the US accusing Russia and China of helping him, which both nations deny.

Mr Obama said the leak highlighted significant vulnerabilities at the National Security Agency, the US electronic spying organisation where Mr Snowden worked as a contractor until last month.

“In terms of US interests, the damage was done with respect to the initial leaks,” he said.

Source: BBC News


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