Edward Snowden speaking via satellite as he received the Bjornson prize in September. Photo: Svein Ove Ekornesvåg / NTB scanpix
The Oslo District Court has sided with Norway’s state attorney and has rejected American whistleblower Edward Snowden’s lawsuit to prevent his potential extradition.
The Oslo court said on Monday that it would not handle Snowden’s lawsuit, which the former NSA worker filed in April
as a way of seeking a guarantee that he will not be extradited if he visits the Norwegian capital to accept an award.
The Norwegian branch of the PEN Club has invited Snowden, who has been living in exile in Russia since 2013 after revealing widespread US foreign surveillance, to collect the Ossietzky prize for freedom of expression in November.
PEN said a law firm had filed a petition with Oslo City Court "in order to allow Snowden to travel to Norway without fear of extradition to the US, where he faces decades of imprisonment under the Espionage Act".
"We will do our utmost to ensure that Snowden may receive the prize in person," it said in a statement.
The court agreed with that interpretation on Monday, rejecting the lawsuit. The court also ruled that Snowden pay 7,000 kroner to the state to cover the legal costs of handling his request.
The 32-year-old American was charged by US authorities with espionage and the theft of state secrets after revealing the extent of surveillance programmes run by the National Security Agency.
He was unable to collect it in person after he failed to receive assurances that he would not be arrested and extradited to the United States.
Snowden has also been nominated again for this year's Nobel Peace Prize, which will be announced in October.