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Ecuador confirms Edward Snowden has formally requested for asylum

Monday, June 24th 2013 - 08:20 UTC
Full article 84 comments
Foreign minister Patiño with another ‘friend’ at the Ecuadorian embassy in London  Foreign minister Patiño with another ‘friend’ at the Ecuadorian embassy in London

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.

 

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  • Gordo1

    Does Snowden realise what a intellectual hellhole of a backwater Ecuador is?

    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?

    Jun 24th, 2013 - 08:29 am 0
  • ElaineB

    Oh, the irony.

    Jun 24th, 2013 - 08:35 am 0
  • LEPRecon

    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.

    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.

    Jun 24th, 2013 - 09:12 am 0
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