Ecuador Denies Giving Snowden A Travel Document -Report

by
Reuters
Ecuador has not given a temporary travel document to former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, the South American nation's acting foreign minister told local media on Wednesday.

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, an analyst with a U.S. defence contractor, is pictured during an interview with the Guardian in his hotel room   in Hong Kong

Ecuador has not given a temporary travel document to former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, the South American nation's acting foreign minister told local media on Wednesday.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said that Snowden, wanted by the United States for leaking secret information about a spying program, had received a refugee document from Ecuador.

"That's not true. There is no passport, no document that has been given (to Snowden) by any Ecuadorean consulate," Galo Galarza said in comments posted on the website of Ecuador's Teleamazonas, a private television station.

Galarza is filling in for foreign minister Ricardo Patino, who is on a tour of Asia.

Snowden fled the United States to Hong Kong this month after leaking details of secret U.S. government surveillance programs, then flew on to Moscow on Sunday.

He remains in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport and is seeking safe passage to Ecuador, which has said it will consider his appeal for political asylum. Patino said earlier on Wednesday that the process of reviewing the request could take weeks.

Assange is holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London after receiving asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning over sexual assault allegations. He has not been able to leave because Britain will not grant him safe passage.