NSA leaker: I'm neither traitor nor hero

Updated: 2013-06-13 13:04


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BEIJING - In his first interview since disappearing from his hotel in Hong Kong, whistleblower Edward Snowden has said that he is neither a traitor nor a hero.

Speaking to Chinese media, he said that he was not hiding from justice but exposing criminality. He vowed to fight any attempt to extradite him and asked the court and people in Hong Kong to decide his fate.

Snowden, a former CIA employee leaked information to British and US media about the US's secret external surveillance program called PRISM. On May the 20th, the 29 year old flew to Hong Kong from Hawaii, where he had been working for defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton at the National Security Agency.

White House Spokesman said, "As was the case yesterday, I am not going to discuss the subject of a recently opened investigation. So the whereabout of this individule, any details about the investigation, I would refer to the justice and FBI."

Many politicians accused Snowden of harming the national security of the US The leader of the House of Representatives John Boehner said he is a traitor and the programs had been passed by the congress and the court. So they are legal and do not violate privacy rights. But Snowden's supporters are calling the White House for a public debate and they are asking the government to release more details and to absolve him.

The US judiciary has started to investigate the case. If formal charges are filed against him, extradition will be considered.