US 'confident' of bringing whistleblower Snowden to justice

BRUSSELS (AFP) - The United States is confident it will bring Mr Edward Snowden to justice for "extremely damaging" leaks about secret internet surveillance programmes, US Attorney General Eric Holder said on Friday.

Mr Snowden is hiding in Hong Kong and the United States has launched a criminal investigation after the former CIA technical assistant blew the lid on the National Security Agency's vast electronic surveillance operation.

"This case is still under investigation and I can assure you that we will hold accountable the person responsible for those extremely damaging leaks," Mr Holder told a news conference in Dublin after a meeting with European Union officials.

"The national security of the United States has been damaged by those leaks. The safety of the American people and safety of people in allied nations is at risk," he said.

"I am confident that the person who is responsible will be held accountable."

Mr Holder also said that he had agreed to share details with the EU about the so-called Prism programme, which was exposed after Mr Snowden spoke to British and American newspapers.

The 29-year-old Snowden has vowed to fight any bid to extradite him.