Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Snowden 'has accepted asylum deal'

Secrets leaker Edward Snowden has applied for asylum in Venezuela (AP)

Secrets whistleblower Edward Snowden has accepted Venezuela's offer of political asylum, according to the head of the Russian parliament's foreign affairs committee.

Alexei Pushkov has acted as an unofficial spokesman for the Kremlin on the Snowden affair.

Mr Snowden, who revealed details of a US intelligence program to monitor internet activity, went to Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport on June 23 and was believed to be headed for Cuba. But he did not board that flight and has not been seen since. He is widely believed to be still in the airport's transit zone.

Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro had offered asylum to Mr Snowden. Bolivia and Nicaragua also say they will grant asylum. Ecuador says it will consider any request.

Mr Maduro said it is perhaps the world's "first collective humanitarian asylum" with various countries saying "Come here!"

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