Snowden 'left Hong Kong for Moscow'

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Edward Snowden has left Hong Kong and is due to arrive in Moscow by Sunday evening, the South China Morning Post reported.

The former CIA technician and National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, who was last known to be hiding in Hong Kong, took off from the city’s airport at 10.55am on Sunday morning and was en route to Moscow's Shermetyevo International Airport. He is scheduled to arrive at 5.15pm, the newspaper said.

The newspaper confirmed that Snowden had been on an Aeroflot SU213 flight and headed to Moscow. Moscow will not be his final destination. Possible final destinations are either Iceland and Ecuador, according to previous media reports.

The Hong Kong government on Sunday afternoon confirmed that Snowden had left Hong Kong "on his own accord for a third country through a lawful and normal channel".

Edward Snowden []

 Edward Snowden []

"The HKSAR government has yet to have sufficient information to process the request for provisional warrant of arrest, there is no legal basis to restrict Mr Snowden from leaving Hong Kong," the statement said.

The HKSAR government has informed the US government of Snowden's departure, according to the statement.

The HKSAR government has also asked the US government to explain the reported hacking of some computer systems in Hong Kong by certain US government institutions and will follow up related developments to safeguard the legitimate rights of Hong Kong residents.

Snowden has been charged in the US with espionage, theft and conversion of government property. The White House contacted Hong Kong on Saturday to try to arrange his extradition.

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