Whistleblower Edward Snowden on the move following US espionage charges
23rd Jun 2013 | 17:21
From Hong Kong to Moscow to South America?
The man at the centre of the government surveillance scandal has departed Hong Kong following efforts from the Washington to extradite him on espionage charges.
Reports on Sunday revealed whistleblower Edward Snowden, who lifted the lid on widespread spying operations in the US and the UK, had arrived in Moscow.
However, according to WikiLeaks, which is assisting the transit, his presence in the Russian capital is only a stop-off point en route to South or Central America.
His final destination is still unclear, with reports suggesting he may be granted political asylum in Equador, Venezuela or Cuba.
The Hong Kong government confirmed Snowden's departure in a statement, claiming he had left through "lawful" means. The country's authorities said it rejected Washington's request to extradite Snowden as it "did not meet legal requirements."
WikiLeaks issued a statement saying: "He is bound for a democratic nation via a safe route for the purposes of asylum, and is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisers from WikiLeaks.
"Mr Snowden requested that WikiLeaks use its legal expertise and experience to secure his safety. Once Mr Snowden arrives at his final destination his request will be formally processed."
The reports come after Friday's developments, when Snowden brought word of the UK's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) role in mass surveillance of citizens.