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Edward Snowden Lands in Moscow; China Chides Washington

June 23, 2013
Edward Snowden, russia, china

Edward Snowden flew to Moscow Sunday, a step ahead of U.S. authorities who this weekend formally charged him with espionage, WikiLeaks said via Twitter.

WikiLeaks, which appeared to be providing aid to Snowden, said the rogue analyst's flight from Hong Kong landed without incident in Russia.

It was not immediately clear if Snowden planned to remain in Russia or continue on to another destination.

WikiLeaks said in an earlier statement its legal advisers and unnamed diplomats were escorting Snowden, whose ultimate destination was "a democratic nation via a safe route for the purposes of asylum."

Snowden, a former contract worker for the National Security Agency, left the United States for Hong Kong last month with top-secret documents and court orders on government surveillance operations.

The government of Hong Kong said in a written statement that Snowden left China on Sunday shortly after being charged with spying by the United States.

"The U.S. 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," the statement said, adding the necessary paperwork to take Snowden into custody had not been completed in time to prevent him from leaving.

China Sunday needled the United States over its inferred hypocrisy on the issue of cyber-espionage.

A commentary by the state-run Xinhua news agency said Washington was griping about alleged hacking by Chinese intelligence at the same time it was routinely monitoring massive amounts of telephone and Internet communications.

"Washington should come clean about its record first," Xinhua said Sunday. "It owes an explanation to China and other countries it has allegedly spied on. It has to share with the world the range, extent and intent of its clandestine hacking programs."

Source: Copyright UPI 2013

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