[QODLink]
Europe

Snowden leaves Moscow airport

Former US spy agency contractor's lawyer says the fugitive has been granted temporary asylum in Russia for one year.

Last Modified: 01 Aug 2013 17:28
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Former US spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked documents about the United States vast spying programme, has left the transit zone of Moscow' airport and entered Russia, his lawyer has said.

Anatoly Kucherena said on Thursday that Snowden was issued with papers that allowed him to leave Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, where he was stuck since his arrival from Hong Kong on June 23.

"I have just seen him off. He has left for a secure location," the lawyer said.

He said that Snowden had been granted temporary asylum to live in Russia for one year.

"Security is a very serious matter for him," the Russian lawyer said.

The US has demanded that Russia send Snowden home to face prosecution for espionage, but President Vladimir Putin dismissed the request.

Putin had said that Snowden could receive asylum in Russia on condition he stops leaking US secrets. Kucherena has said Snowden accepted the condition, reports Associated Press news agency.

Snowden had hoped to fly to Latin America, where three countries have offered to shelter him, but was concerned that the United States would prevent him reaching his destination.

Snowden's case has caused new strains in relations between Russia and the United States which wants him extradited to face espionage charges.

Senior Kremlin official Yuri Ushakov told reporters that Snowden's case is "too insignificant" to damage US-Russia ties.

"Our president has ... expressed hope many times that this will not affect the character of our relations," Ushakov said.

237

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Featured
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.