Edward Snowden

Russia Tells U.S. It Has No Legal Authority to Detain Edward Snowden

Snowden likely headed for Ecuador via Havana


Despite a direct request from the United States to return Edward Snowden to U.S. soil to face charges of leaking government secrets, Russian officials said Monday that they had no legal authority to detain the fugitive former government contractor, who arrived in Moscow on Sunday and was seeking asylum in Ecuador, reportedly by way of Havana.

News services said Snowden was expected to board an Aeroflot flight to Havana, scheduled to depart Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport at 6:05 a.m. Eastern time Monday. But reporters on board the flight said on Twitter that he had not been spotted among the passengers.

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  1. Vladimir Lukin, Russia’s human rights ombudsman and a former ambassador to the United States, told the Interfax news agency that Russia had no authority to expel Snowden, as Washington was asking it to do. Russian officials said travelers who never leave a secure transit zone inside an airport —which means not crossing passport control–are not officially on Russian soil. Snowden did not have a Russia visa, several officials said, and therefore could not leave the transit zone.

    Ooh, I saw that movie! Now Snowden will befriend all the airport staff and fall in love with a beautiful flight attendant, played by Catherine Zeta-Jones.

    1. And then the plot will thicken when the scorned ex-girlfriend shows up, desperate to reconcile with the love of her life!

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