Norway’s state TV, Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) reported on Thursday that the US asked Norway to arrest and extradite whistleblower Edward Snowden with an official diplomatic note in June 2013.
The note reads, “We request that should US citizen Edward J. Snowden attempt to enter Norway through any means, the Government of Norway notify the Embassy immediately and effectuate the return of Mr. Snowden to the United States by way of denial of entry, deportation, expulsion or other lawful means."
Snowden have not been in Norway and since June 23, 2013, he has been staying in Russia, which granted him asylum.
Snowden was working for Booz Allen Hamilton, a contractor for the NSA, until May 2013. In June 2013, he revealed thousands of classified NSA documents to journalists and entered the international spotlight.
The US Department of Justice charged Snowden with two counts of violation the Espionage Act and theft of government property on June 14, 2013. Each of the three counts carries a maximum prison term of ten years.
Furthermore, the Norwegian Department of Foreign Affairs obtained another note which urges the arrest and extradition Snowden on July 4, 2013.
“The United States urges that Snowden be kept in custody, if arrested. Embassy requests the seizure of all articles acquired as a result of the offenses [...] This includes, but is not limited to, all computer devices, electronic storage devices and other sorts of electronic media,” the note reads.
Edward Snowden’s lawyer talked to Norway’s broadcaster NRK about his chances of seeking asylum inn Norway and the possibility of his arrest.
“What is troubling to me is the suggestion that if Mr Snowden showed up in one of these countries, he should be promptly extradited – before he would have a chance to raise his humanitarian rights under international law,” he said.
“The only correct response from political leaders in Norway or any other free society should be to tell the US that this is a question of law and not a question of politics. And that under international law, someone who is charged with a political offence, has a right to raise a claim for asylum before the question of extradition even comes up,” he added.