27 Jan 2014

Fugitive leaker fears death

6:26 am on 27 January 2014

Fugitive intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has voiced fears that US "government officials want to kill me", in a TV interview to be broadcast in Germany on Sunday.

"These people, and they are government officials, have said they would love to put a bullet in my head or poison me when I come out of the supermarket, and then watch as I die in the shower," Snowden also said in the German interview.

The translated quotes were released by ARD, as part of an interview filmed secretly in Moscow that it intends to screen on Sunday.

Snowden, a former NSA contractor, is wanted by the United States on treason charges for disclosing details of a vast intelligence operation that monitored millions of phone calls and emails across the world.

He received temporary asylum in Russia in August.

Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said on Tuesday that his client fears for his life. Mr Kucherena told Vesti 24 news channel that he is constantly accompanied by security guards and is considering additional security measures.

On Thursday, in a question-and-answer session on the Free Snowden website, the fugitive ruled out returning to the United States, where he said there was no chance of a free trial.