The man responsible for the biggest security leak in American history, Edward Snowden, has fled Hong Kong and is now in a transit zone at an airport in Moscow, from where he has booked a flight to Caracas with a Cuban stopover.
The airport has been alive with journalists eager for a glimpse of the elusive whistleblower, and the passengers on his flight disembarked in the full glare of the world’s media, but of Snowden there was not a sign.
He has demanded political asylum in Ecuador, and reportedly met with the Ecuadorian ambassador at the airport, whose car was seen outside. The meeting was secretive and behind closed doors with only a one-line statement issued that Snowden would be seeking asylum.
The Government of Ecuador has received an asylum request from Edward J. #Snowden— Ricardo Patiño Aroca (@RicardoPatinoEC) June 23, 2013
The demand ends the guessing game that has been going on about where Snowden would try to escape the clutches of US justice. One senior Democrat senator warned Moscow’s allowing Snowden into the country would have “serious consequences” for US-Russian relations.
Snowden revealed the existence of a top secret computer and internet spy operation called PRISM the Americans have been running for years that potentially engaged in illegal hacking activity both at home and abroad.
Former Spanish Judge Mr Baltasar Garzon, legal director of Wikileaks and lawyer for Julian Assange has made the following statement:
“The WikiLeaks legal team and I are interested in preserving Mr Snowden’s rights and protecting him as a person. What is being done to Mr Snowden and to Mr Julian Assange – for making or facilitating disclosures in the public interest – is an assault against the people”.