MOSCOW (Reuters) – Former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden has been granted the papers that will allow him to leave the transit area of a Moscow airport where he is holed up, an airport official said on Wednesday.
The official told Reuters that Snowden, who is wanted by the United States for leaking details of U.S. government intelligence programs, would be handed the documents by a lawyer later on Wednesday at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport.
The lawyer “will hand him the papers”, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The immigration authorities declined immediate comment. RIA news agency quoted a border control official as saying said Snowden would be able to leave the transit zone once he received the necessary documents.
Snowden arrived in Sheremetyevo from Hong Kong on June 23 and has requested temporary asylum in Russia until he can safely reach a country that will not send him back to the United States to face espionage charges.
Russia has refused to extradite Snowden and risks further damage to relations with the United States if it grants him temporary asylum. The decision on his temporary asylum request could take up to three months.
(Reporting by Lidia Kelly, Writing by Alexei Anishchuk, Editing by Timothy Heritage)
Reuters.com brings you the latest news from around the world, covering breaking news in business, politics, technology, and more.
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 9 million unique readers per month and serves more than 30 million pageviews.