In Hong Kong, ex-CIA man may not escape U.S. reach
Monday, June 10, 2013 - 01:20
June 10 - Edward Snowden's decision to flee to Hong Kong as he prepared to expose the U.S. government's secret surveillance programs may not save him from prosecution due to an extradition treaty. Mana Rabiee reports.
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The Honolulu home where former CIA officer Edward Snowden lived, before he leaked to the press a U.S. government secret surveillance program.
Neighbors say he kept to himself.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) SNOWDEN'S NEIGHBOUR, ANGEL CUNANAN, SAYING:
"He mentioned that he worked for the government."
...and the Hong Kong hotel where Snowden was holed up Sunday, when he revealed his identity in a video interview with the Guardian newspaper.
Snowden came to Hong Kong believing the former British colony could protect him from U.S. prosecution.
But lawmaker Regina Ip says Snowden won't necessarily find shelter here.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) LAWMAKER AND FORMER SECRETARY FOR SECURITY, REGINA IP, SAYING:
"I think it would be wisest for him to leave Hong Kong because we do have bilateral agreements with the U.S. and we are duty-bound to comply with these agreements. Hong Kong is not a legal vacuum as Mr. Snowden might have thought."
Simon Young, a Professor of Public Law, thinks differently, saying extradition laws here have "strong protections" for asylum seekers.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG CENTRE FOR COMPARATIVE AND PUBLIC LAW, PROFESSOR AND DIRECTOR, SIMON YOUNG, SAYING:
"He's come really at probably the best moment in time because our asylum laws are in a state of limbo."
Snowden reportedly checked out of his hotel Monday. His whereabouts were not immediately known.
He said he hoped to find shelter in a country that values internet freedom, naming Iceland, the fundraising home base of anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.
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