Verdict in Bradley Manning WikiLeaks case will show Snowden’s possible fate in U.S. – Russian parliamentarian

Alexei Pushkov file photo

(Interfax – July 30, 2013) The verdict to be handed down on Tuesday to Bradley Manning, a soldier accused of the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history, will show what could have happened to former CIA employee Edward Snowden if he had returned to the United States, Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the Russian State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee, said.

“When Manning’s verdict for passing files to the WikiLeaks website is read, it will become clear what could have happened to Snowden if he had returned to the U.S.,” Pushkov said on his Twitter page on Monday.

“The U.S. has vowed not to execute Snowden. American experts have told me that he will face 20 years in prison,” the Russian parliamentarian said earlier.

The U.S. court-martial is expected on July 30 to read its verdict in the case of Bradley Manning, who was arrested in May 2010 after the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks published a classified video that shows a U.S. Apache helicopter attack in Iraq in 2007, as a result of which two journalists were killed.

Manning could face a life sentence if found guilty of the 22 criminal counts brought against him.

Snowden fled to Hong Kong in May 2013 and then released classified information regarding U.S. special services’ online surveillance activities. Following this, Snowden traveled to Moscow and has been in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport since June 23. The United States revoked Snowden’s passport and is seeking his extradition.

Snowden has officially applied for temporary asylum in Russia. Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua earlier declared their consent to grant him asylum.