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Friday, October 28, 2016

Moscow (AFP) – The father of U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has held an “emotional” meeting with his son for the first time since the fugitive took refuge in Russia to escape U.S. justice, a report said Friday.

Lon Snowden met his son after arriving in Moscow from the United States on Thursday, Interfax quoted an informed source as saying, without specifying the time or place of the meeting.

“The meeting has already taken place. It was very emotional,” the source told the agency, saying further details would not be given for security reasons.

Snowden’s lawyer Anatoly Kucherena was not immediately available for comment.

Russia has granted Edward Snowden one year temporary asylum but the United States wants him to be extradited to face espionage charges over his leaking of sensational details of U.S. surveillance programs at home and abroad.

The former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor spent over a month in transit at a Moscow airport before being granted asylum on August 1. Since then his whereabouts have been a mystery.

Earlier this week, a group of four retired U.S. ex-intelligence workers and activists who now seek to promote ethics within the profession handed Snowden an award in Moscow.

The Government Accountability Project said Snowden received the Sam Adams Award — a “symbolic candlestick” — at a ceremony in Moscow late Wednesday.

The WikiLeaks website which has supported Snowden late Thursday published the first authenticated photograph of the fugitive since he left Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport after receiving asylum.

The photograph, a link to which was put on the WikiLeaks Twitter account, showed Snowden smiling and clutching his award in a business suit without a tie, flanked by the US ex-agents who had handed him the prize.

Also present was WikiLeaks employee Sarah Harrison, a British citizen who has accompanied Snowden ever since he arrived in Russia.

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