Snowden Lawyer Refutes Report Claiming British Spies Were 'Pulled Out' Due To Info Leaks

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Accused government whistleblower Edward Snowden is seen on a screen as he speaks via video conference
IN PHOTO: Accused government whistleblower Edward Snowden is seen on a screen as he speaks via video conference with members of the Committee on legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe during an hearing on "mass surveillance" at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, April 8, 2014. Reuters/Vincent Kessler

Edward Snowden’s lawyer slammed an article that appeared on Sunday Times and claimed British spies had been “betrayed” to Russian and Chinese intelligence services. Citing anonymous and unverified sources, Britain’s Sunday Times paper had previously reported that British agents have been pulled out from operations in “hostile countries.”

The report said Russia and China had allegedly cracked the secrets found in the documents leaked by the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. Security service MI6, which is tasked to defend British interests, have pulled out agents based in certain countries. The report had quoted unnamed officials at the office of British Prime Minister David Cameron, security services and the interior ministry.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond had alleged that Snowden had done great damage to the ability of the West to protect its citizens. “As to the specific allegations, we never comment on operational intelligence matters so I’m not going to talk about what we have or haven’t done in order to mitigate the effect of the Snowden revelations, but nobody should be in any doubt that Edward Snowden has caused immense damage,” Hammond told Sky News.

Snowden’s lawyer, Robert Tibbo said there was no possibility of an interception.  Mr Tibbo added that Snowden had left his place in Hong Kong with no data on him. “There was no data in a cloud. He passed the data on to the journalists and that was it. Any actual copy he had with him was destroyed.

Mr Tibbo reiterated that the Chinese and Russian governments have no access to the files. He said any speculation that Snowden may have provided documents to the Chinese or the Russians is “false,” reports the Globe and Mail.

Meanwhile, in an article on The Intercept, journalist Glenn Greenwald called the Sunday Times article “journalism at its worst.” He criticised the article for being full of false information. Greenwald, one of the reporters to whom Snowden had provided sensitive files, also pointed out that there was no evidence of anyone being harmed because of Snowden’s revelations.

(To report problems or leave feedback on this article, contact: r.su@ibtimes.com.au)