Former National Security Agency leaker,has left Hong Kong and landed on Russian airport, as a stopover to somewhere else.
The U.S authorities that had been in continuous contact with Hong Kong since June 10, have been highly disappointed over the country’s move to allow Snowden leave. Washington had been pressing Hong Kong to hand over the National Security Agency leaker, after charging him with espionage.
However, Snowden was seen on an Aeroflot flight from Hong Kong to Moscow on Sunday and is now booked on a flight to Cuba that will leave on Monday. Anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks said in a statement Sunday that Edward Snowden is "bound for the Republic of Ecuador via a safe route for the purposes of asylum, and is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisors from WikiLeaks."
While U.S says that it’s request for Snowden’s extradition complied with the law of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong government says it did not and that Snowden left "on his own accord for a third country through a lawful and normal channel." The Hong Kong authorities said that their government failed to receive enough information to process the request for issuing a provisional warrant of arrest, and hence they had no legal basis to stop Snowden from leaving the country.
Since Snowden does not have a visa to Russia, he’s currently staying in a transit zone airport and spent the last night in a rented room in a capsule hotel. He had been hiding in Hong Kong since he disclosed information on highly classified spy programs by NSA.
His departure from Hong Kong comes just a day after Washington made a request for his extradition so that he could be put on trial in his home country. The Department of Justice said only that it would "continue to discuss this matter with Hong Kong and pursue relevant law enforcement cooperation with other countries where Mr. Snowden may be attempting to travel."
The decision by Hong Kong to allow Snowden go appears to be a practical move to avoid the country from getting involved in an extradition battle that was expected to go on for months. The move has subsequently eliminated a geopolitical tension that could have made Hong Kong more prone to pressure from both United States as well as Beijing.
While the country has its own system of law and justice, under the city’s mini constitution, China is allowed to intervene in its defense and diplomatic affairs.