Reports Indicate Snowden Has Papers To Leave Limbo
Edward Snowden, who has spent the last month in the in-transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, has apparently gotten his paperwork in order and may now be able to leave the airport.
A Russian state news agency says former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden was granted documents on Wednesday that will allow him to leave a Moscow airport where he has been holed up for more than a month.
A Russian official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that Snowden, who is wanted by the United States for leaking details of U.S. government intelligence programs, was expected to meet his lawyer at Sheremetyevo airport later on Wednesday after lodging a request for temporary asylum in Russia.
Russian officials have so far declined comment.
If the reports prove accurate, it would end a long saga for Snowden, who is believed to have been living in the Moscow airport’s transit zone since June 23 after flying there from Hong Kong. It was in the Chinese protectorate that Snowden first publicly revealed details of the massive surveillance programs conducted by the NSA, for which Snowden was a contractor in Hawaii.
This is a rather sketchy report at best. Given the way this saga has played out so far, this “approval” may take still more time to become official and Snowden leaves the airport.
Snowden continues to claim that he wouldn’t be able to receive a fair trial in the US after leaking sensitive information, but the countries where he’s sought asylum have an abysmal record of protecting human and civil rights, including Russia, which has imprisoned the band Pussy Riot for speaking out against the government, sought to imprison political opponents, and outright killed political opponents. But this isn’t about getting a fair trial; it’s about getting protection from prosecution on the incontrovertible facts that he stole and leaked classified information. Seeking asylum is the only way that happens.
And yet Snowden’s going to remain in limbo a while longer:
BREAKING: Lawyer advising NSA leaker Snowden says he is staying in Moscow airport transit zone for now. -MM