- Parents outraged after white supremacists plant racist Easter eggs
- Atheists sue N.J. school over ‘under God’ in Pledge of Allegiance
- Obama hosting annual Easter Egg Roll
- Big Bang a big question for most Americans: Poll
- Jimmy Carter’s grandson: People have right to sport Confederate battle flag license plate
- Supreme Court issues no ruling on case challenging N.J. gun law
- Sharyl Attkisson: Media Matters ‘clearly targeted me’
- Sherpas consider boycott after Everest avalanche
- Democrat Rep. Stephen Lynch on Obamacare: ‘We will lose seats’ this November
- Syria to hold presidential election on June 3
China feared Edward Snowden extradition fight with U.S., aided NSA leaker to leave Hong Kong
The news came amid reports that Chinese officials, concerned at the stress a long extradition battle might place on its already tense relations with Washington, wished to wash their hands of the matter by getting the fugitive to leave Hong Kong, which he did over the weekend, arriving Sunday in Moscow.
Lawyer Albert Ho said Mr. Snowden was approached last week by someone claiming to represent the government of Hong Kong, who told him he should leave and that the island’s authorities would not stop him if he did, despite the revocation of his passport and a pending extradition request by U.S. authorities.
Communist authorities “used someone behind the scenes to get Snowden to leave. And the Hong Kong government didn’t have much of a role. Its role was to receive instructions to not stop him at the airport,” Mr. Ho told Reuters.
Mr. Ho, an elected legislator from Hong Kong’s Democratic Party, told reporters he was approached by Snowden last week, and that the self-proclaimed whistleblower had sought assurances from the Hong Kong government about whether he could leave the city if he chose to do so.
After Mr. Snowden arrived Sunday at the international transit lounge of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo international airport, Russian authorities said he had not entered the country and that they had no grounds to arrest him, Interfax news agency reported.
The agency cited a “well-informed Moscow source.”
“Snowden has not committed any crimes in the territory of Russia. Neither have Russian law enforcement bodies received any instructions to detain him along Interpol lines,” Interfax quoted the source as saying. “Thus, we have no grounds for detaining this transit passenger.”
The latest twist in the global cat and mouse game being played by Mr. Snowden as he attempts to evade apprehension by U.S. authorities brought angry criticism response from some U.S. officials.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is “aiding and abetting Snowden’s escape,” charged New York Democratic Sen. Chuck SchumerSunday, accusing Mr. Putin being “eager to put a finger in the eye of the United States.”
“That’s not how allies should treat one another, Mr. Schumer thundered, “And I think it will have serious consequences for the United States-Russia relationship.”
On Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry warned that there would be diplomatic consequences for countries that facilitated or allowed Mr. Snowden’s onward travel.
“It would be deeply troubling, obviously, if they [Russia and China] had adequate notice [of Mr. Snowden’s travel plans], and notwithstanding that, they make the decision willfully to ignore that and not live by the standards of the law,” he said in India.
If so, “There would be, without any question, some effect and impact on the [U.S.] relationship [with those countries] and consequences [for them],” he added.
Reuters, citing an unnamed “source in Beijing who has direct knowledge of the case,” reported that China had been concerned about how a long-drawn out legal battle in the former British colony of Hong Kong might stress its already complex relations with the United States.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Shaun Waterman is an award-winning reporter for The Washington Times, covering foreign affairs, defense and cybersecurity. He was a senior editor and correspondent for United Press International for nearly a decade, and has covered the Department of Homeland Security since 2003. His reporting on the Sept. 11 Commission and the tortuous process by which some of its recommendations finally became ...
- Senator's memo shows Iran links in Homeland Security's troubled immigration program
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- Dems back bill to fix problems in investor visa program
- Democrats proceed with Mayorkas vote despite pending investigation
- Game players don't think peace has a chance in Syria
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- USAID documents cite Hillary Clinton in chaos of Afghan aid
- Jimmy Carter's grandson: People have right to sport Confederate battle flag license plate
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Twitter blocks accounts critical of Turkish government
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Inside China: Marine's comment on islands draws sharp Chinese response
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.