Edward Snowden flees arrest in breathtaking round the world trip

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Shortly after the United States government filed espionage charges against NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, his flight to asylum began in earnest.

Snowden, who has been in Hong Kong since his flood of leaks began exposing the extraordinary degree of communications monitoring being conducted by the US and UK governments, has fled, with Wikileaks claiming to have ‘assisted’ his bid for political asylum. He is charged with theft of government property, unauthorised communication of national defence information and wilful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorised person.

His destination seems to be Ecuador, but his global hike from East Asia to South America is both tortuous and unfolding under the breathless gaze of the media. There seems to have been a concerted effort by China, Russia, Cuba and Ecuador to spirit the young whistleblower away to safety.

Boarding an Aeroflot flight to Moscow, his journey would seem to be taking him from there on to Havana, and from there to Ecuador. He appears to have spent last night in Moscow before pushing on to Cuba. With the US having revoked his passport, Snowden is relying on the presence of an Ecuadorean diplomat on his journey to ease him through immigration issues. The US is apoplectic with fury as their bid for extradition is quietly mocked by Snowden’s passage across the world, pulling out the big guns of diplomatic language and describing what is happening as ‘troubling’.

Hong Kong issued this statement

‘The US Government earlier on made a request to the HKSAR Government for the issue of a provisional warrant of arrest against Mr Snowden. Since the documents provided by the US Government did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law, the HKSAR Government has requested the US Government to provide additional information so that the Department of Justice could consider whether the US Government's request can meet the relevant legal conditions. As the HKSAR Government has yet to have sufficient information to process the request for provisional warrant of arrest, there is no legal basis to restrict Mr Snowden from leaving Hong Kong.

The whole thing is proving excruciatingly embarrassing for the US as their game of cat and mouse is turning rapidly into televised impotence. "I can confirm that we received the request for asylum from Mr Snowden," said the Ecuadorean foreign minister "We will make a decision on this, we are analysing this with a lot of responsibility."

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