National Security Agency whistleblower, Edward Snowden, disappeared on Monday after giving The Guardian a video interview on Sunday night. He has reportedly been in hiding, but recently broke his silence with a new interview.
While some have called Snowden a hero or a traitor, he sees himself as neither.
"I'm neither traitor nor hero," Snowden told the South China Morning Post. "I'm an American. People who think I made a mistake in picking [Hong Kong] as a location misunderstand my intentions. I am not here to hide from justice. I am here to reveal criminality."
Snowden added: “My intention is to ask the courts and people of Hong Kong to decide my fate. I have been given no reason to doubt your system.’’
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Hong Kong does have an extradition treaty with the United States, but it is fuzzy when it comes to political prisoners.
The U.S. Department of Justice is rumored to be working on charges against Snowden to extradite him back to America, but an extradition could take months and be blocked by China, which technically rules Hong Kong.
Snowden was previously earning $200K working for defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton at the NSA in Hawaii. Snowden flew to Hong Kong after giving The Guardian the scoop on the NSA seizing phone records from Verizon and details on the PRISM program, which snoops the web.
Russia is considering offering asylum to Snowden, reports The Guardian. Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin's spokesperson, told the Russian newspaper Kommersant: "If such an appeal is given, it will be considered. We'll act according to facts."