From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/21/edward-snowden-charged_n_3480984.html
By Tabassum Zakaria and Mark Hosenball
WASHINGTON, June 21 (Reuters) – The United States has filed espionage charges against Edward Snowden, a former U.S. National Security Agency contractor who admitted revealing secret surveillance programs to media outlets, according to a court document made public on Friday.
Snowden, who is believed to be in hiding in Hong Kong, was charged with theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person, said the criminal complaint, which was dated June 14.
The latter two offenses fall under the U.S. Espionage Act and carry penalties of fines and up to 10 years in prison.
A single page of the complaint was unsealed on Friday. An accompanying affidavit remained under seal.
The charges are the government’s first step in what could be a long legal battle to return Snowden from Hong Kong and try him in a U.S. court.
Two U.S. sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the United States was preparing to seek Snowden’s extradition from Hong Kong, which is part of China but has wide-ranging autonomy, including an independent judiciary.
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