Edward Snowden Files Asylum Request in Russia
It seems NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s legal team got their act together and filed a formal request on his behalf for asylum in Russia. They should get a preliminary response back within five days, which would allow Snowden to leave his capsule hotel in the Moscow airport transit zone and move about Russia freely.
(Freely is a relative term in Russia, mind you.)
But it may take up to six months for the Russian Migration Service to fully examine his 20-page application and grant him permanent asylum. He also has offers of asylum from Venezuela and Nicaragua.
CBS News’ Svetlana Berdnikova reports that, according to legal analysts in Moscow, the Russian government will be able to issue Snowden with temporary documentation to allow him to move freely around Russia once the application is processed by the Migration Service. It can take up to five days for that preliminary review of the application to be completed.
The full examination of his request for refugee status can take the Migration Service three months — and that period can be doubled if the agency feels more time is necessary to weigh the merits of his request. If asylum is granted, it would permit Snowden to live and work in Russia for up to one year, and could then be renewed.
Snowden has been stuck in Sheremetyevo’s transit zone since he arrived from Hong Kong on June 23.