Snowden still at Moscow airport as Ecuador delays asylum call

 
City A.M. Reporter
THE FORMER US spy agency contractor facing charges of espionage remained in hiding at a Moscow airport yesterday while the prospect grew of a protracted Russian-US wrangle over his fate.

Ecuador, where Edward Snowden has requested asylum, said a decision could take weeks and asked Washington to argue its case for extradition. Russia said Snowden, whose flight is proving a growing embarrassment for President Barack Obama, was still in the transit area of Sheremetyevo airport.

Snowden fled to Hong Kong after leaking details of secret US government surveillance programmes, then flew on to Moscow on Sunday. There was no sign yesterday of him registering for onward flights out of Russia.

“They are not flying today and not over the next three days,” an Aeroflot representative at the transfer desk at Sheremetyevo said when asked whether Snowden and his legal adviser, Sarah Harrison, were due to fly out.

And Ecuador’s foreign minister indicated a decision on Snowden's asylum request could take two months.“It took us two months to make a decision on Assange so do not expect us to make a decision sooner this time,” foreign minister Richard Patino said.