Norway says Snowden unlikely to get asylum there

OSLO Tue Jul 2, 2013 4:26am EDT

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OSLO (Reuters) - Former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden has applied for political asylum in Norway but it appeared unlikely Oslo would grant his request, Norwegian authorities said on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old American, who faces espionage charges in the United States, applied to 15 countries and remains in the transit area at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, a Kremlin spokesman said on Tuesday.

"Delivering an application for asylum from abroad is in principle not allowed," Norwegian deputy justice secretary Paal Loenseth told state broadcaster NRK.

"Applying for asylum should be done on Norwegian soil. According to normal procedures ... his demand will be denied."

Earlier, the Foreign Ministry said it had received an application for asylum from Snowden by fax to its embassy in Moscow on Monday afternoon.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman declined to give details about the content of the letter or from where the fax was sent to the embassy.

(Reporting by Gwladys Fouche, Henrik Stolen and Joachim Dagenborg; Editing by Alison Williams)

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