Ecuador's foreign minister said his country was analyzing a request for asylum by fugitive US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden who is currently in Moscow
We will make a decision... we are analyzing it, Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino told reporters in Hanoi on Monday of the request by Snowden who is on the run from US authorities over his explosive leaks on US intelligence methods.
”It (the request) has to do with freedom of expression and the security of citizens around the world. We always act by principle not in our own interest. There are some governments who act more on their own interests, we do not,” he added.
Snowden, a former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, arrived in Russia on Sunday from Hong Kong, hoping to win asylum in Ecuador and evade arrest after leaking sensational details of secret US surveillance programs.
He was expected to head to Ecuador via Cuba and foreign correspondents at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport saw an Ecuadorian flagged diplomatic car at VIP arrivals.
We know he is in Moscow, we're in talks with higher authorities, Patiño, who is on an official visit to Vietnam, said.
The South American country, led by outspoken populist President Rafael Correa, has been sheltering WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is wanted by Sweden, at its London embassy for the past year.
US authorities have been severely embarrassed by Snowden's revelations of intelligence trawling by the NSA of phone call logs and Internet data, prompting concern from governments around the world and outrage from privacy campaigners.
Snowden made the revelations from Hong Kong which allowed him to travel to Moscow, prompting criticism from US authorities have laid charges including of theft and espionage against the whistleblower.
Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!
Does Snowden realise what a intellectual hellhole of a backwater Ecuador is?Jun 24th, 2013 - 08:29 am 0
One of the most corrupt countries in the world and which has just had a law imposed which very strictly denies the freedom of the press. What more could he want?
Oh, the irony.Jun 24th, 2013 - 08:35 am 0
This will become another case of the Ecuadorian government trying to score cheap political points in the short term, but will eventually (just like Assange) become a long term problem for them.Jun 24th, 2013 - 09:12 am 0
Another stone for Ecuador's shoe. :)
If they had any sense they'd refuse this and let it become someone else's problem. The US aren't just going to forget that this man betrayed his own country, they want him back to face due process.