Extraditing Leaker Snowden Would Be Iffy If His Crime is Judged Political


The National Security Agency contractor who admitted to what officials call one of the worst leaks in history would face a complicated path to U.S. courts, says Politico. Edward Snowden, 29, a Booz Allen Hamilton employee, told the Guardian he is in Hong Kong and hopes to win asylum in a country like Iceland. Continue Reading For all the harm government officials have warned of, experts say the charges he'd face would carry maximum penalties of 10 years apiece. The Justice Department can charge Snowden but he would need to be brought back to U.S. soil. Like many extradition treaties, the one between the U.S. and Hong Kong contains an exception for political crimes, a category Snowden's admitted acts would likely fall under. “There has to be a political decision on the part of the extraditing country that that sort of act is in its political interest,” said Ryan Scoville, an international law expert at Marquette University Law School.

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