London, Oct 7 (IANS) Edward Snowden has asked that he be allowed to return to the US and go to jail for leaking details of National Security Agency (NSA) programmes to intercept electronic communications data on a vast scale.
Snowden, in an interview to BBC, said he had “volunteered to go to prison many times” but had not received a formal plea-deal offer.
“So far they have said they won’t torture me, which is a start, I think. But we have not got further than that,” Snowden said on Monday.
Earlier this year, former US Attorney General Eric Holder said a plea deal with Snowden was a possibility.
Snowden’s revelations about the NSA, Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and other intelligence agencies set off an international debate about spies’ powers to monitor personal communications, and about the balance between security and privacy.
FBI deputy director Mark Giuliano told the BBC that Snowden was a traitor.
“The question is, if I was a traitor, who did I betray,” Snowden said. “I gave all of my information to American journalists and free society generally.”