In a letter, dated July 23, to Russian authorities, US Attorney General Eric Holder said Snowden's arguments for temporary asylum in Russia were without merit, as he was seeking asylum on grounds that he would be tortured and face death penalty if returned to the US, reported a news agency.

Holder said death penalty was not an option given the current charges against Snowden, and even if additional charges were filed, the Justice Department won't seek death sentence. He also said Snowden won't be tortured and would face a civilian trial.

"We believe that these assurances eliminate these asserted grounds for Mr. Snowden's claim that he should be treated as a refugee or granted asylum," Holder stated in the letter sent to Russian Justice Minister Alexander Konovalov.


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