With the aid of the whistleblowing organization, WikiLeaks, Edward Snowden has left Hong Kong and is on a circuitous journey to an undisclosed location.
Hong Kong has not complied with the US’s extradition order, which requested that they detain Snowden and transfer him to the custody of American officials, who would take him back to the United States to stand trial for espionage, theft, and conversion of government property.
The HSKAR Government issued a statement on the situation:
Mr. Edward Snowden left Hong Kong today (June 23) on his own accord for a third country through a lawful and normal channel. The US Government earlier on made a request to the HSKAR Government for the issue of a provisional warrant of arrest of Mr. Snowden. Since the documents provided by the US Government did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law, the HSKAR Government has requested the US Government to provide additional information so that the Department of Justice could consider whether the US Government’s request can meet the relevant legal conditions. As the HSKAR Government has yet to have sufficient information to process the request for a provisional warrant of arrest, there is no legal basis to restrict Mr. Snowden from leaving Hong Kong.
The HSKAR Government has already informed the US Government of Mr. Snowden’s departure.
The press release also contained a small warning to US officials:
Meanwhile the HSKAR Government has formally written to the US Government requesting clarification on earlier reports about the hacking of computer systems in Hong Kong by US Government agencies. The HSKAR Government will continue to follow up on the matter so as to protect the legal rights of the people of Hong Kong.
While Snowden’s final destination is undisclosed, he left Hong Kong today on a flight bound for Russia, accompanied by a WikiLeaks legal advisor. He will be seeking asylum in a third country – some possibilities that have been mentioned are Ecuador, Iceland, and Venezuela.
Edward Snowden, a former NSA employee, blew the whistle earlier this month on a massive government surveillance program that secretly invaded the privacy of innocent Americans for years.
Yesterday it was announced that a petition for Snowden’s full pardon had exceeded the 100,000 signatures necessary for official attention. Much of America will be on the edge of their seats, cheering from the sidelines, as he continues to elude arrest in a series of events that seem like the plot of a spy movie.
As of today, at least, Edward Snowden remains a free man.
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