The South China Morning Post is breaking the story:
It is understood that the 30-year-old boarded the Aeroflot SU213 flight from Chep Lap Kok airport at 11.04am on Sunday morning.
That flight is scheduled to land at Moscow’s Shermetyevo International Airport at 5.15pm.
Snowden is wanted by the US government after he disclosed classified documents detailing the clandestine cyber-snooping programmes carried out by Washington’s National Security Agency.
RT has reported that the Hong Kong government has confirmed Snowden’s departure and that he left the country “legally and voluntarily”. His final destination has not been named but will reportedly not be Russia. Iceland and Ecuador are top prospects I will post updates as they are available.
This will not help U.S. – Russia relations one bit. They continue to land body blows on the U.S. intelligence community but this will not go unanswered.
You can track the flight.
The government of Honk Kong has released a statement on Edward Snowden’s departure:
The US Government earlier on made a request to the HKSAR Government for the issue of a provisional warrant of arrest against Mr Snowden. Since the documents provided by the US Government did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law, the HKSAR Government has requested the US Government to provide additional information so that the Department of Justice could consider whether the US Government’s request can meet the relevant legal conditions. As 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 HKSAR Government has already informed the US Government of Mr Snowden’s departure.
Meanwhile, the HKSAR Government has formally written to the US Government requesting clarification on earlier reports about the hacking of computer systems in Hong Kong by US government agencies.
A full explanation for the Honk Kong government’s refusal is needed and should be interesting. China and Russia have jointly dealt another embarrassing blow to the U.S. government.
No comment out of Moscow:
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said on Sunday that he was unaware of the location or plans of former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
Do you buy that? I don’t.
— Rod McLeod (@rm867) June 23, 2013
Some reports are mentioning Cuba-Venezuela as possible destinations.
— J-Francois Belanger (@belangerjf) June 23, 2013
Source "close to #Snowden": He agreed to transit to Cuba, but the ultimate decision is his own "Maybe he wants to stay in Russia" (Ifax)
— Nikolaus von Twickel (@niktwick) June 23, 2013
If true it will be a very interesting development. However, take all reports with a grain of salt at this stage.
FLASH: Mr. Snowden is currently over Russian airspace accompanied by WikiLeaks legal advisors.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) June 23, 2013
Reports that Snowden’s outbound flight will by SU150 on Monday.