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Eric Holder tells Russia US won't seek death penalty for Edward Snowden


Attorney General Eric Holder is trying a new tactic to convince Russian authorities to hand over National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden: telling them the U.S. will not seek the death penalty.

The attorney general earlier this week highlighted the fact that criminal charges against Snowden do not carry the death penalty and told Russian officials that the U.S. wouldn't seek the death penalty, even if Snowden were charged with additional crimes that include it as a possible sentence, the Associated Press reported Friday.

Reports of Holder's letter comes after other news that Snowden, who leaked information about the government's sweeping phone and email surveillance programs, has filed papers seeking temporary asylum in Russia.

In those papers, which would allow him to leave the Moscow airport where he has been holed up for three weeks, he argues that, if turned over to the United States, he would be tortured and would face the death penalty.

Holder's letter, dated July 23, was sent to Alexander Vladimirovich Konovalov, the Russian minister of justice, the AP reported.