Two cars of the embassy of Ecuador in Moscow are parked outside the terminal where Edward Snowden, the former contractor for the U.S. National Security Agency, is believed to have landed in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, June 23, 2013.
The former CIA contractor, Edward Snowden, has asked Ecuador for political asylum, the country’s foreign minister, Ricardo Patino Aroca, wrote on Twitter. The whistleblower is now in Moscow after fleeing Hong Kong in a bid to elude US extradition.
A car with diplomatic license plates of Ecuador is at the airport at the Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport at the moment.
According to Interfax news agency, Snowden, who is accompanied by WikiLeaks representative, Sarah Harrison, has rented a suit at the airport’s «V-Express» Capsule Hotel. If he’s going to fly to Ecuador it won’t happen until Monday, June 24.
“Mr Edward Snowden, the American whistleblower who exposed evidence of a global surveillance regime conducted by US and UK intelligence agencies, has left Hong Kong legally,” a statement by the WikiLeaks said. “He is bound for the Republic of Ecuador via a safe route for the purposes of asylum, and is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisors from WikiLeaks.”
The statement added that when the whistleblower arrives in Ecuador, his asylum request “will be formally processed”.
Snowden left Hong Kong for Moscow on Sunday, despite ABC claiming that his US passport has been revoked a day before.
The Russian capital is considered a transit point en route to a third country for the former NSA contractor, who exposed a top-secret US National Security Agency’s PRISM surveillance program to the media and is now accused of espionage, theft and conversion of government property.
Ecuador and Iceland were initially named as Snowden’s most likely destinations. Later the news appeared that he was going to fly to Venezuela via Cuba.