Super-leaker Edward Snowden is suing the government of Norway.
What? Isn't Snowden in Russia? And isn't his beef with the United States?
Yes, on both counts. But Snowden has just been awarded something called the Ossietzky Prize, an award named after German pacifist, journalist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Carl von Ossietzky.
Ossietzky won the Nobel for revealing details of Germany's re-armament, which violated the Treaty of Versailles.
The Ossietzky Prize is awarded by an organisation called Norsk PEN, the Norwegian branch of freedom of speech promotion body PEN International. Norsk Pen says it chose Snowden "to pay respect to the unique role he has undertaken as a whistle blower." Having made its choice, the organisation “will do our utmost to ensure that Snowden may receive the prize in person.”
Snowden fears that if leaves Russia he will be apprehended by United States authorities, extradited and put on trial back home.
The lawsuit's being run by Norwegian law firm Schjødt, which says it will argue that “A prosecution against Snowden under the US Espionage Act constitutes a political offense within the meaning of Norwegian and international law. Accordingly, the lawsuit asserts that extradition of ES would be contrary to law, and that the court should so declare.”
Off to court we go then! Probably with lots of detours to cover all the back and forth about the case, plus debate about just how far the long arm of US justice can and should be allowed to reach.
The Register imagines the case will also be watched closely from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where unacknowledged marathon-couch-surfing champion Julian Assange surely has an interest in learning if one Scandinavian jurisdiction feels it can offer a leaker safe passage. ®