Ecuador queries concept of treason allegations against Snowden

HANOI Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:42am EDT

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HANOI (Reuters) - Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said on Monday former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, accused by the United States of espionage, was being persecuted and questioned the concept of treason allegations against him.

Snowden, 30, whose exposure of secret U.S. government surveillance raised questions about intrusions into private lives, was allowed to leave Hong Kong on Sunday after Washington asked the Chinese territory to arrest him.

He flew to Moscow as a transit stop before heading elsewhere, several sources said. But reports he would fly to Cuba were put in doubt when witnesses could not see him on the plane, despite heightened security before take-off.

Ecuador, which has sheltered the founder of the WikiLeaks anti-secrecy organization, Julian Assange, had said earlier it was considering Snowden's request for asylum.

(Reporting by Martin Petty; Writing by Nick Macfie)

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