Oct. 10 - Lon Snowden, the father of fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, arrives in Moscow and hopes to see his son. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
PLEASE NOTE: THIS MATERIAL CONTAINS MATERIAL WHICH WAS ORIGINALLY 4:3 PLEASE NOTE: AUDIO AS INCOMING ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION). STORY: Former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden's father arrived in Moscow on Thursday (October 10) to see his son, who was granted asylum in Russia after he leaked details of government surveillance programmes and fled the United States. Russia 24, a state-owned 24-hour news broadcaster, showed footage of Snowden speaking at the same Moscow airport where his fugitive son was stranded for weeks this summer. Lon Snowden said he had no direct contact with Edward Snowden but that he felt "extreme gratitude that my son is safe and secure and he's free". The younger Snowden, 30, is wanted in the United States on espionage charges and Russia's decision to grant him temporary asylum aggravated already tense relations between Moscow and Washington. Russian authorities and the Russian lawyer who is assisting Snowden, Anatoly Kucherena, have not disclosed his location. Directly from the airport, he and the lawyer drove to a state television studio to give an exclusive live interview, indicating the visit was under strong government control. Snowden, who worked as a systems administrator at a U.S. National Security Agency facility in Hawaii, fled to Hong Kong in June and then flew to Moscow. The United States annulled his passport and urged nations in Latin America and elsewhere not to take him in or help him find refuge from U.S. prosecution. President Vladimir Putin rejected repeated American pleas to hand Snowden over to the United States but has denied Russia had any role in Snowden's disclosures or that its intelligence agencies were working with him in any way. After Snowden was granted asylum, on Aug. 1, U.S. President Barack Obama pulled out of a summit with Putin that had been scheduled for early September in Moscow, but then met Putin at a G20 summit in St. Petersburg. Edward Snowden is in the running for the Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought, a European human rights award whose past winners include Nelson Mandela and Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The winner is to be chosen later on Thursday.