The computer contractor who exposed details of U.S. surveillance programs was on the run late Sunday, seeking asylum in Ecuador with the aid of the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, the organization and Ecuador’s Foreign Ministry announced.
Edward Snowden left Hong Kong after Washington sought his extradition on espionage charges, according to WikiLeaks, which facilitates the publication of classified information.
“He is bound for the Republic of Ecuador via a safe route for the purposes of asylum and is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisers from WikiLeaks,” the group said. Ecuador’s foreign ministry said it had received a request for asylum from Snowden, and a CNN crew spotted a car with diplomatic plates and an Ecuadorian flag at the Russian capital’s international airport.
Ecuador has already given WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange refuge in its embassy in London for a year after he unsuccessfully fought extradition to Sweden in British courts.
Details as they emerge.