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Snowden, who was offered asylum in Russia after failing to secure flight elsewhere, has been offering sensitive intelligence data about US global espionage to London’s The Independent.
In July, the US State Department revoked his passport, but he remains a US citizen. He is wanted in the US on felony charges related to his disclosure of classified information.
“Instead of causing damage, the usefulness of the new public knowledge for society is now clear because reforms to politics, supervision and laws are being suggested,” Snowden wrote in a German news magazine after several European countries, including Germany, and Brazil strongly condemned US espionage efforts in their countries and on their leaders.
But on Tuesday, Kucherena told Russian daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta: “He has never traded the secret information, and he has never received money for that even when he was in Hong Kong. I am certain about that judging from his current financial situation.”
He said Snowden had already spent nearly all his savings and the fugitive whistleblower was partially living on assistance from well-wishers and rights groups.
Snowden’s intelligence leaks have caused diplomatic rifts between Washington and its allies.
Last week, Brazil and Germany began drafting a UN resolution calling for an end to excessive electronic surveillance.
The German-Brazilian draft would have the 193-nation assembly declare that it is “deeply concerned at human rights violations and abuses that may result from the conduct of any surveillance of communications, including extraterritorial surveillance of communications”.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have condemned the NSA surveillance programme as reports surfaced that both these leaders were major targets of the US spying program.
In late October, French President Francois Hollande told his American counterpart that the NSA’s monitoring of French citizens was unacceptable.