27 Jul 2013

No death penalty for Snowden promised by US

3:08 pm on 27 July 2013

The United States has told Russia that fugitive intelligence leaker Edward Snowden would not face the death penalty if he were to be handed over.

In a letter to the ministry of justice on Tuesday, US attorney general Eric Holder said Snowden, 30, would be tried in a civil court and would not be tortured.

He said the assurances removed any grounds for Snowden's claim for temporary asylum in Russia, which was filed on 16 July.

Snowden flew to Moscow from Hong Kong on 23 June. His passport has been revoked by the United States.

He is still in the transit zone at Sheremetyevo airport.