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  • Dec 22, 2014
  • Updated: 9:50pm
Edward Snowden

Snowden could face long wait in asylum bid

As fugitive whistle-blower spends fourth night at Moscow airport, Ecuador says it could take months to weigh up 'risks' and make decision

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 June, 2013, 9:51pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 June, 2013, 3:50pm

Edward Snowden's asylum bid appears to be in limbo with the 30-year-old US whistle-blower stuck at a Moscow airport for the fourth night and Ecuador saying it could take months to decide.

"It took us two months to make a decision in the case of Assange, so do not expect us to make a decision sooner this time," Ecuador's foreign minister Ricardo Patino said in Malaysia, in a reference to WikiLeaks site founder Julian Assange.

Asked if Ecuador would provide protection to Snowden while considering his request for asylum, Patino said through a translator that if Snowden "goes to the embassy, then we will make a decision".

Patino refused to say what criteria Ecuador would use but added that his government would "consider all these risks", including concerns that helping Snowden would hurt trade with the US and damage his country's economy. But he also defended Snowden's actions, saying they "shed light" on US practices.

This came as Spain's renowned former human rights judge Baltasar Garzon, who has fought on WikiLeaks' behalf, said his firm had declined to represent Snowden.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said he would consider any asylum request from Snowden.

"We have not received an official request. But ... we would evaluate it as we understand Ecuador is doing," Maduro said during a visit to Haiti.

In Hong Kong, Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok said it was "very disappointing" that the US government had not responded to allegations that Hong Kong was a target of US cybersnooping.

"The security bureau formally wrote to the US government on June 21. We expect the US to give Hong Kong people a full explanation as soon as possible. The government will strongly follow up the case," he said.

In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said officials were talking with Washington about a possible meeting between John Kerry and Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the Asean foreign ministers' meeting to be held in Brunei from June 29.

This would be the first high-level meeting between Beijing and Washington since Snowden left Hong Kong on Sunday.

Additional reporting by Associated Press, Staff Reporters


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hard times !
Maybe our Snowden has to seek his asylum in an embassy of Ecuador as what the founder of WikiLeaks,Mr.Assange did /doing now.His situation is really at risk as his whereabouts is well-known and once he leaves Russia for any countries in Europe or the western hemisphere, he bears the risk of being intercepted/kidnapped by US secret agents or their military men on his way to his final destination. Even on arrival there, his security is still a big issue----he might have to live in horror and threats for a lifetime.But he really has sacrificed a lot to serve the netizens all over the world ! Anyway,Russia might be a good refuge to him or a foreign embassy there is also a good shelter for him. Now only Russia dares stand up against the Big Brother without fear of retribution in our present world !
hard times !
Thank you for your so-called instruction.But anyway,you are no Hong Kong people,to be sure Much appreciated for your advice : 'to type and space correctly'.Yet as all know, contributors to this Comment column are never too serious about their usage of words or even every punctuation mark used.You spent so much time studying my postings really shocks me.Maybe you are too free:waiting for a job or just school break ?
KwunTongBypass, I've been really enjoying it's a theft !'s comments lately. But the Snowden haters have really been annoying me. Especially the commenters who openly wish Snowden ill will.

Also you have to consider the fact that English isn't it's a theft !'s first language. He is doing quite well with it, and I am sure the more comments he posts, the better his english will get.
The name is Assange
- and by the way, please learn how to type and space correctly, your rants are so hard to read!
hard times !
'it's a theft' at least has got 'bluechinagroup' as his friend, but how about you,'KwunTongBypass' ? Have you got any friends here in this column ? Probably not !
Salutes to you, "bluechinagroup" - our friend has changed his name many, many times today - the latest I saw was something with "islets"!


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