Edward Snowden could strike a deal to return to the US, former Attorney General claims

Eric Holder said a 'possibility exists' for the whistleblower to leave Russia

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The fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden could strike a deal with US authorities that would allow him to return to the country, the former Attorney General has suggested.

Snowden fled the US and claimed asylum in Russia after releasing a number of classified documents about the surveillance carried out on American citizens and the rest of the world by the National Security Agency (NSA).

He has made no secret of wanting to return back to his home in the US despite facing criminal espionage charges that could see him imprisoned for at least 30 years.

Speaking to Yahoo News, Eric Holder claimed “there could be a basis for a resolution that everybody could ultimately be satisfied with” in his case.

Holder said the US is “in a different place as a result of the Snowden disclosures” which he said had prompted a “necessary” debate over Government policies on data collection.

“I think the possibility exists,” he added, declining to expand on what such a deal would entail.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder

Holder led the US Justice Department from 2009 until 2014 and now works as a private lawyer for the firm Covington & Burling. In his role he oversaw tough action against whistle-blowers and contractors accused of leaking information including the soldier Chelsea Manning, who was charged under the Espionage Act to sending classified documents to anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

However, his optimism was overshadowed by a spokeswoman for Loretta Lynch, the current Attorney General, who said the department held the same stance over Snowden's case.

"Our position regarding bringing Edward Snowden back to the United States to face charges has not changed," she said.