Author Topic: Hong Kong has 'no legal basis' to keep Snowden, bound for Venezuela via Moscow and Cuba  (Read 340 times)

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Online EC

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Via South China Morning Post:

US whistle-blower Edward Snowden has left Hong Kong and is on a commercial flight to Russia, but Moscow will not be his final destination.

The fugitive whistle-blower boarded the Moscow-bound flight earlier on Sunday and would continue on to another country, possibly Cuba then Venezuela, according to media reports.

The Hong Kong government said in a statement that Snowden had departed "on his own accord for a third country through a lawful and normal channel".

The 30-year-old left from Chep Lap Kok airport on a flight scheduled for 10.55am. He boarded Aeroflot Flight SU213, which is due to land at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport at 5.15pm local time (8.15pm Hong Kong time).

"Snowden left Hong Kong on his own will," a government source told the Post, adding that the Hong Kong government had not provided Snowden with any assistance or protection during his whole stay. The source dispelled media claims that the government had provided him a "safe house".

It was understood that Snowden's departure was a relief to the Hong Kong government, which had been making all legal preparation to deal with new developments regarding the case.

More at link.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2013, 08:27:49 AM by EC »
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Snowden leaves Hong Kong, may be heading for Venezuela
ReutersBy James Pomfret | Reuters – 4 mins 51 secs ago..

 Article: Snowden leaves Hong Kong for 'democratic nation': WikiLeaks
29 mins ago

 Article: Snowden heads to Venezuela via Moscow, Havana: airline source
2 mins 56 secs ago

 Article: Kremlin says unaware of Snowden's plans
4 hrs ago

 Article: Snowden has ticket to Cuba, may go to Venezuela: Russian reports
3 hrs ago

By James Pomfret

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A former U.S. security contractor charged by Washington with espionage was allowed to leave Hong Kong on Sunday, his final destination not confirmed, because a U.S. request to have him arrested did not comply with the law, the Hong Kong government said.

Edward Snowden, who worked for the National Security Agency, had been hiding in Hong Kong since leaking details about U.S. surveillance activities to news media.

The United States wanted him to be extradited to face trial and is likely to be furious about reports that he was travelling to Moscow on Sunday before flying on to Cuba and Venezuela.

"It's a shocker," said Simon Young, a law professor with Hong Kong University. "I thought he was going to stay and fight it out. The U.S. government will be irate."

A source at Russia's Aeroflot airline said Snowden would fly from Moscow to Cuba on Monday and then planned to go on to Venezuela. The South China Morning Post earlier said his final destination might be Ecuador or Iceland.

The WikiLeaks anti-secrecy website said it helped Snowden find "political asylum in a democratic country".

It added in an update on Twitter that he was accompanied by diplomats and legal advisers and was travelling via a safe route for the purposes of seeking asylum.

"The WikiLeaks legal team and I are interested in preserving Mr Snowden's rights and protecting him as a person," former Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon, legal director of WikiLeaks and lawyer for the group's founder Julian Assange, said in a statement.

"What is being done to Mr Snowden and to Mr Julian Assange - for making or facilitating disclosures in the public interest - is an assault against the people."

Assange has taken sanctuary in the Ecuadorean embassy in London and said last week he would not leave even if Sweden stopped pursuing sexual assault claims against him because he feared arrest on the orders of the United States.

U.S. authorities have charged Snowden with theft of U.S. government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information and wilful communication of classified communications intelligence to an unauthorized person, with the latter two charges falling under the U.S. Espionage Act.

The United States had asked Hong Kong, a special administrative region (SAR) of China, to send Snowden home. ...
Rest of story (and links to related stories)
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