In an interview broadcast Wednesday in Russia with the Rossiya-24 television news network, Lon Snowden said his son is unlikely to get a fair trial in the United States, so Russia remains the safest place for him at the moment.
"The fact is, no assurances have been made that he will be given a fair trial" in the United States, the elder Snowden said at the station's studios in Washington, where he was accompanied by a lawyer. "I feel Russia has the strength and resolve and convictions to protect my son."
Edward Snowden, a former contractor for the
in Russia, and for more than a week
for the Federal Migration Service to either approve his application or issue him a certificate allowing him to leave the airport while the application is being reviewed.
"I begin every day with a call to the migration authorities," Snowden's Russian lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, said Wednesday. "So far to no avail, which I attribute to bureaucratic hurdles surrounding this unique case."
Kucherena said he had spoken earlier Wednesday to Snowden's father, who wants to come to Russia as soon as possible "to cheer up his son."
“Initially it was the
In an interview with the Washington Post, Lon Snowden said the FBI had spoken to him about trying to get his son to return. He said the effort collapsed when the bureau could not guarantee that the two would actually be able to see each other.
Kucherena said that he is preparing an official invitation to Snowden's father and his lawyer to come to Russia.
"I will finish the paperwork and most likely send them an invitation Friday at the earliest," Kucherena said. "They are ready to come here anytime."
The elder Snowden's lawyer, Bruce Fein, said Edward Snowden was the victim of "a witch hunt."
In his interview with Russian TV, Lon Snowden spoke of concern that his son could face treatment similar to that of
Manning "was stripped of his clothes, kept for 23 hours a day in solitary confinement, his glasses were removed," the elder Snowden said. "That was unacceptable. I just don't have a high level of trust in our justice system, not only because of what has happened to my son."
Addressing his son, the elder Snowden said, "I hope to see you soon. But most of all I want you to be safe. I hope you are watching this…. Your family is well. We love you."