‘He\'s not Edward Snowden,’ say Ex-NSA contractor Harold Martin\'s lawyers
The NSA campus in Maryland: The agency’s former contractor Harold Martin was arrested by the FBI in August BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Ex-NSA contractor, Harold Martin, accused of having stolen classified government intelligence documents and a top secret hacking tool developed specifically for the NSA, is not the next Edward Snowden, his lawyers have argued. Martin's attorney's filed a "motion to review detention order" on 25 October, requesting a senior judge to overrule the previous judge's decision to keep Martin behind bars pending trial.

Martin's lawyers argued before US District Judge Richard D Bennett: "The only consideration before the court will be whether there is a 'serious risk' that Mr Martin will fail to appear for court appearances if he is released."

During the previous hearing in October, one of Martin's lawyers James Wyda told US magistrate judge A David Copperthite that his client "is not Edward Snowden. He's not someone who, due to political ideas or philosophical ideas or moral principles, thinks he knows better than everybody else."

However, Wyda failed to provide a comprehensive argument for why or how authorities were able to uncover a vast amount of classified data from his home and his car. Martin was arrested by the FBI in August.

US prosecutors had previously also argued that Martin, who handled top-secret clearance while he was a contractor with Booz Allen Hamilton, could present a danger to himself or society if not detained. They argued that Martin could flee the US or also possibly be targeted and/or kidnapped by a foreign power. Judge Coopperthite ruled in the government's favour, deeming Martin's release to be a "serious risk to the pubic", ordering that he remain under custody pending trial, ArsTechnica reported.

In the new filing, Wyda stressed to judge Bennet that Martin would continue to make appearances before the court, as ordered, arguing that he had "strong ties" to the state of Maryland where the NSA is based and where he lives.

Wyda argued: "For these and other reasons that will be discussed at a hearing on this motion, Mr Martin respectfully requests release pending trial subject to any conditions the court finds appropriate to reasonably assure his appearance in court, such as 24-7 electronic home monitoring, no use of computers or the Internet, no firearms, no alcohol, and an alcohol monitoring device."

A hearing on the matter is slated to be held on 28 October, presided over by judge Bennett, in federal court in Baltimore.