White House expects Russia to expel Snowden back to US

Washington, June 25 (IANS) The White House has said it was expecting Russia to look at the options available to expel fugitive American intelligence leaker Edward Snowden back to the US.

"It is our assumption that he is in Russia," Xinhua quoted White House spokesman Jay Carney as saying at a press briefing.

"I would say that we are, obviously, in conversations, and that we are working with them or discussing with them and -- or rather, expecting them to look at the options available to them to expel Mr. Snowden back to the United States to face justice for the crimes with which he is charged," Carney said.

Snowden, 30, was charged by Washington with espionage and theft of government property following his disclosure of massive secret phone and Internet surveillance programs of the National Security Agency (NSA).

Snowden left Hong Kong Sunday onboard a flight and landed in Moscow, and is reportedly seeking asylum in Ecuador.

"I would note that given our intensified cooperation with Russia, after the Boston Marathon bombings, and our history of working with Russia on law enforcement matters, including returning numerous high-level criminals back to Russia at the request of the Russian government, that we do expect the Russian government to look at all the options available to them to expel Mr. Snowden back to the United States," Carney said.

Russian human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin, however, said Monday that the US has no right to demand the arrest and extradition of Snowden.

Besides, the former NSA contractor has not committed any crime in Russia, nor have Russian authorities received any request from the Interpol, Lukin said.

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