Edward Snowden is now officially a criminal on the run from the law, but the US extradition effort just became slightly more challenging. Despite having a canceled US passport, Snowden managed to legally secure transport to Moscow, and WikiLeaks is claiming they are behind the move. Lawyers for the controversial non-profit organization report they were approached by Snowden who requested their assistance, and they seem more than willing to take on the case once he reaches safe harbor. Presumably these are the same lawyers that have shielded WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from Swedish authorities for the past several years, so the chances are high this saga will take a very long time to fully play out if he reaches a country such as Ecuador where extradition can be tricky.
“Mr Edward Snowden left Hong Kong today (June 23) on his own accord for a third country through a lawful and normal channel.
The US Government earlier on made a request to the [Hong Kong Special Administrative Region] 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 HKSAR Government has already informed the US Government of Mr Snowden's departure.
Meanwhile, the HKSAR Government has formally written to the US Government requesting clarification on earlier reports about the hacking of computer systems in Hong Kong by US government agencies. The HKSAR Government will continue to follow up on the matter so as to protect the legal rights of the people of Hong Kong.”
Those looking to show support for Edward Snowden can sign a pardon petition that currently has over 100,000 votes on whitehouse.gov.