Hong Kong says Snowden has left for a ‘third country’

FILE - This June 9, 2013 photo provided by The Guardian newspaper in London shows Edward Snowden, who worked as a contract employee at the U.S. National Security Agency, in Hong Kong. The Guardian newspaper says that the British eavesdropping agency GCHQ repeatedly hacked into foreign diplomats' phones and emails when the U.K. hosted international conferences, even going so far as to set up a bugged Internet café in an effort to get an edge in high-stakes negotiations. The Guardian cites more than half a dozen internal government documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden as the basis for its reporting on GCHQ's intelligence operations. (AP Photo/The Guardian, File)
FILE - This June 9, 2013 photo provided by The Guardian newspaper in London shows Edward Snowden, who worked as a contract employee at the U.S. National Security Agency, in Hong Kong. The Guardian newspaper says that the British eavesdropping agency GCHQ repeatedly hacked into foreign diplomats' phones and emails when the U.K. hosted international conferences, even going so far as to set up a bugged Internet café in an effort to get an edge in high-stakes negotiations. The Guardian cites more than half a dozen internal government documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden as the basis for its reporting on GCHQ's intelligence operations. (AP Photo/The Guardian, File)

Hong Kong’s government says Edward Snowden has left for a “third country” because a U.S. extradition request did not fully comply with Hong Kong law.

The White House had warned Hong Kong that the Obama Administration expected a timely response to its request for the extradition of Snowden.

Snowden is the former Kunia resident who admitted to leaking classified information about the US government’s surveillance programs.

Snowden was charged yesterday with espionage and theft.

A formal extradition request to bring Snowden back to the US from Hong Kong could have dragged through appeal courts for years.

Click here to read the press release, ‘HKSAR Government issues statement on Edward Snowden’

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