“U.S. to Russia: Give us Snowden”



WASHINGTON – The bizarre journey of Edward Snowden is far from over. After spending a night in Moscow‘s airport, the former National Security Agency contractor and admitted leaker of U.S. state secrets was expected to fly to Cuba and Venezuela en route to possible asylum in Ecuador.

But the U.S. says Moscow should hand Snowden over to Washington.

Several Russian news agencies were saying early Monday that Snowden had checked in for a flight to Havana.

Snowden, also a former CIA technician, fled Hong Kong on Sunday to dodge U.S. efforts to extradite him on espionage charges. Ecuador’s Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patino, said his government had received an asylum request. He added Monday that Ecuador’s decision about the request involves “freedom of expression and … the security of citizens around the world.” He did not say how long it would take Ecuador to decide.

The anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks has said it would help Snowden.

Ecuador has rejected the United States’ previous efforts at cooperation, and has been helping WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange avoid prosecution by allowing him to stay at its embassy in London.

Snowden was on a flight from Hong Kong that arrived in Moscow Sunday and was booked on a flight to Cuba Monday, the Russian news agencies ITAR-Tass and Interfax reported, citing unnamed airline officials.

Patino said, “We know that he’s currently in Moscow, and we are … in touch with the highest authorities of Russia.”


English: Julian Assange at New Media Days 09 i...
English: Julian Assange at New Media Days 09 in Copenhagen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)