US disappointed with Hong Kong over Snowden episode
Washington: The United States on Monday expressed its disappointment with the Hong Kong Administration to let fugitive Edward Snowden, a former CIA contractor to fly out of the Chinese territory.
At the same time, the White House also urged Russia to send him to the US, where he is wanted on felony charges.
"We are disappointed by the decision of the authorities in Hong Kong to permit Snowden to flee despite the legally valid US request to arrest him for purposes of his extradition under the US-Hong Kong Surrender Agreement," said Caitlin Hayden, spokesperson of National Security Council.
"We have registered our strong objections to the authorities in Hong Kong as well as to the Chinese government through diplomatic channels and noted that such behavior is detrimental to US-Hong Kong and US-China bilateral relations," she said.
"We now understand Snowden is on Russian soil. Given our intensified cooperation after the Boston marathon bombings and our history of working with Russia on law enforcement matters including returning numerous high level criminals back to Russia at the request of the Russian government we expect the Russian Government to look at all options available to expel Snowden back to the US to face justice for the crimes with which he is charged," Hayden said.
Meanwhile, another Senior Administration official challenged Snowden`s claims that he leaked the information because he supports transparency and freedom of press.
"Snowden`s claim that he is focused on supporting transparency, freedom of the press and protection of individual rights and democracy is belied by the protectors he has potentially chosen: China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela and Ecuador," the official said.
"His failure to criticise these regimes suggests that his true motive throughout has been to injure the national security of the US, not to advance internet freedom and free speech," the Senior Administration official said on condition of anonymity.
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