NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden's father considers FBI request for him to visit son in Moscow

Lonnie Snowden has told Russian TV that he needs to know what the FBI want him to do before flying out to see his son

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The Independent US

The father of former US spy agency contractor Edward Snowden has told state owned Russian 24 television that he was willing to carry out the FBI's request that he visit his son in Moscow.

Speaking through a Russian translator during an interview, he said that before he made the journey he would like to know what the FBI wanted him to do, according to Reuters.

The FBI reportedly suggested he travel to Moscow "a few weeks ago" and speak with Mr Snowden, who is facing charges of espionage by the Obama administration.

Lonnie Snowden, a Coast Guard veteran, has had no direct contact with his son since he leaked classified documents containing details of US and UK mass surveillance programmes. The 30-year-old is currently understood to be in the transit area of Moscow airport after having his passport revoked by the US government, which prevented him from travelling to his preferred destination of Latin America.

Mr Snowden has now applied for temporary asylum in Russia and could be granted permission to stay in the country within days, according to his lawyer Anatoly Kucherena. Speaking on the programme, Mr Kucherena said that the US had not sent an official extradition request, arguing that "saying 'hand him over' is absolutely dishonourable and incorrect”.

“If you want (to have Snowden handed over), you should adhere to the law, so send, according to existing rules of cooperation between states, a corresponding legal document, correctly filled out. But there is no such thing,” he said.

During the interview Lonnie Snowden said he did not believe his son would get a fair trial following the events within the previous six weeks.

“I hope that he will return home and appear in court ... But I don't expect that ... a court would be fair. We cannot guarantee a fair court.”

He added that he hoped Russia would accept his son's request for asylum. “If he wants to spend the rest of his life in Russia, I would agree. I am not against it,” he said. “If I were in his place, I would stay in Russia."