Snowden Lands in Moscow After Fleeing Hong Kong
Final destination is reportedly Venezuela
By Polly Davis Doig, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2013 5:42 AM CDT
Updated Jun 23, 2013 8:45 AM CDT
In this June 21, 2013 file photo, a banner supporting Edward Snowden is displayed at Central, Hong Kong's business district.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

(Newser) – Edward Snowden left Hong Kong today "through a lawful and normal channel," and has now landed in Moscow, though that's not his final destination. WikiLeaks tweeted that it had helped the former NSA contractor flee, just after the United States filed extradition papers, securing him "political asylum in a democratic country, travel papers (and) safe exit from Hong Kong." WikiLeaks says Snowden is in the company of its legal advisers.

From Moscow, Russia's ITAR-Tass news service is reporting that Snowden will take a plane for Cuba tonight, then fly to Caracas, Venezuela. Hong Kong acknowledged the White House's extradition request, reports the AP, but said in a statement that it failed to "fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law" and that in the absence of "sufficient information to process the request for provisional warrant of arrest, there is no legal basis to restrict Mr. Snowden from leaving Hong Kong."

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