NSA leaker Snowden officially charged with espionage

Federal officials announced today that espionage charges have been filed against National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. NBC News is reporting that the charges were actually filed under seal in Federal Court on June 14, and were not released until Friday.

According to NBC:

Officials said charges against Snowden were delayed because the United States and authorities in Hong Kong have been going back and forth to make certain that whatever charges the U.S. filed would conform to the extradition treaty with Hong Kong.

The U.S. has filed a “provisional arrest warrant,” formally asking the police in Hong Kong to arrest Snowden. Because the FBI has no jurisdiction outside U.S. borders, U.S. prosecutors must ask local police to make the arrest. The arrest would start the formal extradition process in court, which will be governed by Chinese law and could take several months to resolve.

Snowden was charged on three-counts, with the complaint including “theft of government property,” “unauthorized communication of national defense information” — meaning espionage — and “willful communication of classified communications of intelligence information to an unauthorized person.”

Watch the NBC report here:


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