Snowden's Airport Stay Not Over Just Yet: Lawyer

Denies claims that document allowing Snowden to leave has been produced

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 24, 2013 7:50 AM CDT | Updated Jul 24, 2013 10:48 AM CDT

(Newser) – Edward Snowden's status is pretty murky at the moment: Though Russian media this morning reported that he had been given the tentative go-ahead to end his month-long stay at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, his lawyer has since denied the report. The Russian reports cited an anonymous law enforcement source as saying that Russia has responded to Snowden's asylum request by issuing documents giving him permission to leave the transit zone and enter Russian territory, provided the border service is OK with it, according to RIA Novosti. But, making things more confusing, the sources said his lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, would be the one to deliver the documents to him, the BBC reports.

Among those who don't know what's happening: the White House. The AP reports it is "seeking clarity" from Russian officials on Snowden's status. One other interesting revelation from Kucherena, who met with Snowden today: He says Russia is Snowden's "final destination for now," and that the leaker plans to study the Russian language, reports the AP. He also says he brought Snowden some fresh clothes and books: Among them, Crime and Punishment.

TV journalists are at Sheremetyevo airport outside Moscow, Russia, Friday, July 12, 2013.
TV journalists are at Sheremetyevo airport outside Moscow, Russia, Friday, July 12, 2013.   (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
A view of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport with a hotel for passengers at the transit zone inside. Edward Snowden has been caught in legal limbo in the transit zone since his arrival on June 23.
A view of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport with a hotel for passengers at the transit zone inside. Edward Snowden has been caught in legal limbo in the transit zone since his arrival on June 23.   (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr)
This photo shows the very formal asylum application purportedly written by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.
This photo shows the very formal asylum application purportedly written by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.   (AP Photo/RTR TV, via APTN)
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