Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who revealed the NSA surveillance program titled PRISM and fled the country, has left Hong Kong, despite Washington D.C.’s efforts to extradite him for espionage charges in the U.S., and landed in Moscow, though it appears that his ultimate goal is Ecuador.
Snowden is pictured above on a banner of support hanging in Hong Kong.
Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino, tweets, ““The
Government of Ecuador has received an asylum request from Edward J.
#Snowden,” and a statement from WikiLeaks adds that Snowden is “bound for the Republic of Ecuador via a safe route for the purposes of asylum.”
CBS News reports that the U.S. has officially revoked Snowden’s passport, but that will probably not hinder him from getting to Ecuador. Reportedly, Snowden is thought to currently be in Moscow, Russia.
A source at the Russian airline Aeroflot previously told Reuters that Snowden would leave Moscow for Cuba within 24 hours, but that source also said Snowden’s planned final destination was Venezuela.
Officials in Washington D.C. had said that they were optimistic Hong Kong would extradite Snowden, but Chinese authorities have released a statement announcing Snowden’s departure and in said statement reveal that they were seeking clarification from the Obama administration about reports of the U.S. spying on Chinese government computers.
A Hong Kong government spokesman also says that the U.S. request to have him extradited did not comply with the law.