Snowden left Hong Kong 'legally', HK govt confirms

HONG KONG:Former US intelligence technician Edward Snowden departed Hong Kong on Sunday through “legal” means, the local government confirmed.
“Snowden today voluntarily left Hong Kong for a third country through legal and normal means,” a Hong Kong government spokesman said in a press statement.

The statement added that Hong Kong had “not obtained adequate information”to handle a provisional arrest warrant for Snowden issued by the United States.

Moreover Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said on Sunday that he was unaware of the location or plans of former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

The South China Morning Post reported that Snowden had left Hong Kong on a flight for Moscow and that his final destination may be Ecuador or Iceland.

Asked whether Snowden was en route to Moscow and whether he had ask for asylum, Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said he did not know. A Russian Foreign Ministry official declined immediate comment.

US authorities have charged Snowden with theft of US government property, unauthorised communication of national defence information and wilful communication of classified communications intelligence to an unauthorised person, with the latter two charges falling under the US Espionage Act.

The United States had asked Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, to send him home.

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