Edward Snowden stars in Snowden Run 3D, out now on the Google Play store. (Photo : Wikipedia)
After months of remaining incognito, NSA leaker Edward Snowden was photographed grocery shopping in Moscow.
On Monday, LifeNews posted a grainy image of a man resembling Snowden and wearing a shirt similar to the one he wore during his Guardian interview in June. The Russian tabloid also reported that the 30-year-old former CIA agent is considering applying for Russian citizenship.
Snowden's lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, confirmed that Snowden was indeed the man in the photograph, however he denied that he was in Moscow.
"It's obviously Snowden, but wouldn't claim that he lives in Moscow," Kucherena said. "I think that the picture wasn't taken in Moscow," he added, pointing to the fact that it was impossible to make out the regional numbers on the license plate of the BMW in the background.
Earlier this year, the ex-CIA contractor leaked highly classified documents exposing the federal government's secret electronic surveillance programs, which tap into millions of Americans' phone and Internet usage records. Instead of facing espionage charges in the U.S., Snowden flew to Moscow on June 23 after spending several days in the Russian consulate in Hong Kong. He filed papers seeking temporary political asylum in Russia, which was then granted on Aug. 1, giving him "the same rights and freedoms possessed by the citizens of the Russian Federation," Kucherena said. It can be renewed indefinitely.
WikiLeaks founder Assange tried to convince Ecuador's consul in London to provide a document requesting that authorities allow Snowden to travel to Ecuador via Russia "for the purpose of political asylum," reports the Business Insider. However, Ecuador's president subsequently said the document was "completely invalid," stranding Snowden in Russia.