(4 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino, visiting Vietnam, tweeted: “The Government of Ecuador has received an asylum request from Edward J. #Snowden.”
NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden has left Hong Kong arriving in Moscow aboard a commercial flight, presumably on his way to a third country for asylum.
In a statement, WikiLeaks said the 30-year-old was heading to a democratic country “via a safe route” for asylum purposes and that the organisation was assisting at his request. Snowden had been in hiding in Hong Kong since identifying himself as the source of revelations on US surveillance programmes.
His flight from US authorities, which want to charge him with espionage, appeared set to continue with an onward flight west from Moscow to Havana on Monday. From there, various reports indicated that he would try to get to either Caracas or Quito.
The Hong Kong government said on Sunday he had left of his own accord “through a lawful and normal channel” and said the request filed by the US did not fully comply with legal requirements. Pointedly, it also said it wanted Washington to clarify Snowden’s claims that the US had hacked targets in the territory.
He was accompanied by one of Julian Assange’s closest advisers, Sarah Harrison.
On Friday, Snowden was charged with espionage under the 1917 law. He becomes the eighth whistleblower to be charged under the act by the Obama administration, which has used the charge more than any other president.
Snowden, 29, is charged with theft of government property, unauthorised communication of national defence information and wilful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorised person, according to court documents.
The head of the NSA, Gen. Keith Alexander stated that Snowden has “caused irreversible damage to US.” This coming from the man who lied to congress and has admitted publicly that the surveillance had violated the Fourth Amendment.
Have I mentioned that David Gregory is a hack and an embarrassment for NBC?
Has David Gregory ever publicly wondered if powerful DC officials should be prosecuted for things like illegal spying & lying to Congress?
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) June 23, 2013
Good luck to Mr. Snowden.