Edward Snowden, the American contract employee who leaked classified information, will get to stay for three more years in Russia.
Snowden leaked a cache of documents on U.S. surveillance to journalist Glenn Greenwald last year. (For more on the leaks, check out the BBC’s overview.)
Last August, he was given one-year asylum in Russia. White House press secretary at the time, Jay Carney, said “We are extremely disappointed that the Russian Federation would take this step” to give him the one-year asylum.
Today, his lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said the Russian Federation gave him a “three-year residential permit,” Reuters reported. The residential permit is not asylum though, The Guardian said.
Kucherena suggested Snowden may be looking to make the stay permanent. According to Kucherena, after five years in Russia, he could try to become a citizen. However, Snowden hasn’t made a decision on that yet, Reuters reported.
Snowden had applied for an extension of his asylum earlier this summer, CNN reported.
Further, Kucherena said Snowden is working in IT in Russia. The Guardian added that he can even “travel abroad for three-month stints” under this new permit.
Snowden was charged with espionage by the U.S. last year. The charges against Snowden are, according to the Washington Post:
- “Unauthorized communication of national defense information” and
- “Willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person.”
UPDATE 8/7/2014 10:58 AM EST Added more information