Where in the world is Edward Snowden? That is the first question that the Obama adminsitration must answer in order to try the former employee of defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden leaked documents regarding government surveillance by the National Security Agency to two different news agencies, before fleeing to Hong Kong.
The U.S. formally filed charges against Snowden, saying he violated the Espionage Act, and asked Hong Kong to extradite him. However, Snowden flew to Moscow with the help of the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. The White House is working under the assumption that Snowden is still in Russia's Sheremetyevo airport, a hunch that Russian President Vladimir Putin seemed to confirm today.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said, "we are just not buying that this was a technical decision by a Hong Kong immigration official." He added, "This was a deliberate choice by the government to release a fugitive despite a valid arrest warrant, and that decision unquestionably has a negative impact on the U.S.-China relationship."
Today, according to the Telegraph, Russian diplomat Sergei Lavrov denied that the Russian governemnt had anything to do with Snowden's travel plan. "He chose his itinerary on his own. We learned about it... from the media. He has not crossed the Russian border," he said, claiming the international concourse of the airport to be a neutral transit zone.
Lavrov added, "we consider the attempts to accuse the Russian side of violating U.S. laws, and practically of involvement in a plot, to be absolutely groundless and unacceptable."
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