Snowden Leaves Hong Kong, with Final Destination Unknown

Created: 2013-06-24 01:20 EST

Category: World

Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor charged with with espionage, is allowed to leave Hong Kong Sunday as he boarded a plane for Russia.

The Hong Kong government said the U.S. request to have him arrested did not comply with the law.

The move came as little surprise to Hong Kong Legislator and Civic Party Member Claudio Mo.

[Claudia Mo, Legislator and Civic Member]:
"I think they would want Snowden to go and that's what they get. I think everyone's breathing a sigh of relief within the government, because that could have been a very tricky matter in Sino-American relationship obviously."

Snowden, had been hiding in Hong Kong since leaking details about U.S. surveillance activities to news media.

[Raymond Lam, Student]:
"Hong Kong is subject to the political wills of both the Chinese and Americans , especially since there are treaties involved. Hong Kong is in a relatively awkward position to deal with this issue. So I think Snowden is leaving Hong Kong to go to a place that can offer him better protection."

Snowden faces several charges including unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified communications intelligence to an unauthorized person.

His final destination is unknown with speculation centering on Cuba, Ecuador, Iceland or Venezuela.