Edward Snowden gets refugee status in Russia, leaves Moscow airport

Aug 01 2013, 17:54 IST
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Edward Snowden had sought asylum in Russia. Edward Snowden had sought asylum in Russia.
SummaryThe whistleblower has left for a secure location which will remain secret.

Whistleblower Edward Snowden has finally acquired refugee status in Russia. The news was confirmed on Thursday by WikiLeaks.

Reports further said that the whistleblower has left the Moscow airport, where he had been staying for over a month.

A lawyer who has been assisting Snowden said he had left the airport for a secure location which would remain secret.

"Edward Snowden has successfully acquired refugee status in Russia," the anti-secrecy organisation WikiLeaks, which is also assisting Snowden, confirmed on Twitter.

His lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, told state television: "I have just seen him off. He has left for a secure location ... Security is a very serious matter for him."

Snowden, 30, arrived in Moscow from Hong Kong on June 23. He 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.

(With Reuters inputs)

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