Hong Kong: Snowden Has Left for Third Country, US Extradition Request Rejected (+video)

Photo Credit: Fox News

Photo Credit: Fox News

By Fox News. Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who exposed secrets about the federal government’s surveillance programs, has reportedly has left for a “third country,” the Hong Kong government said Sunday.

A statement from the government did not identify the country, but the South China Morning Post, which has been in contact with Edward Snowden, reported that he was on a plane for Moscow, but that Russia was not his final destination.

Snowden, who has been in hiding in Hong Kong for several weeks since he revealed information on the highly classified spy programs, has talked of seeking asylum in Iceland.

His departure came a day after the United States made a formal request for his extradition and warned Hong Kong against delaying the process of returning him to face trial in the U.S.

Fox News confirmed Saturday that the U.S. was talking with Hong Kong officials about seeking extradition for Snowden. The talks were reported first by CBS News.

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Dershowitz to Newsmax: Obama Administration ‘Stupid’ to Charge Snowden with Espionage

By Paul Scicchitano. Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz tells Newsmax that the Obama administration was “stupid” to charge NSA leaker Edward Snowden with espionage since that may give Hong Kong officials a legitimate out to refuse extradition.

“Forget about whether it’s warranted or not,” said Dershowitz in an exclusive interview on Saturday. “It’s really dumb to charge him with what might be considered to be a political offense when they’re trying to extradite him.”

In addition to being difficult for prosecutors to prove, the extradition treaty with Hong Kong “explicitly excludes political crimes and this gives them an excuse to say ‘we’re not going to turn him over to you because you’ve indicted him for a political crime,’” according to Dershowitz, who is also a Newsmax contributor.

“If they had just indicted him for theft and conversion of property — an ordinary crime — the chances of getting him extradited would have increased dramatically,” he explained. “But at this point they have really shot themselves in the foot. I don’t know why they did it.”

The Obama administration on Saturday sharply warned Hong Kong against slow-walking the extradition of Snowden, reflecting concerns over a prolonged legal battle before the government contractor ever appears in a U.S. courtroom to answer espionage charges for revealing two highly classified surveillance programs.

Read more from this story HERE.