As reported by The Guardian, former employee of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) Edward Snowden asked President Barack Obama to pardon him.
In his video interview with The Guardian, Snowden said that publishing secret documents about the surveillance of American and British intelligence was for the benefit of citizens of the United States, and was right from the point of view of morality. In addition, it has led to positive changes in American society.
“The [US] Congress, the courts and the president all changed their policies as a result of these disclosures. At the same time there has never been any public evidence that any individual came to harm as a result,” he said.
Snowden’s statement came after it became known of the intentions of human rights activists to launch a campaign demanding the pardon of former NSA analyst.
Obama has the right to pardon Snowden until January 2017, while he holds a post of the U.S. president. The Guardian notes that the chances are extremely low.
“Yes, there are laws on the books that say one thing, but that is perhaps why the pardon power exists – for the exceptions, for the things that may seem unlawful in letters on a page but when we look at them morally, when we look at them ethically, when we look at the results, it seems these were necessary things, these were vital things,” quotes The Guardian.
Edward Snowden lives in Russian with a refugee status since 2013. In the U.S. he faces up to 30 years in prison on charges of espionage.