Pressure is seen rising within the US administration and countries which are believed to be helping NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden for escaping US extradition over leaking highly sensitive data.
US State Department has pointed that Ecuador may face ‘grave consequences’ if the government decides in favour of Snowden’s asylum claim in the country, Fox News reports.
State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell slammed Hong Kong’s claim that Snowden’s misspelled name in the paperwork led to his escape from the territory to Moscow.
He rubbished Hong Kong’s claim and said that they knew he was a fugitive and intentionally let him go.
According to the report, the US administration has warned Hong Kong’s decision to let off Snowden could harm US-China ties and the government is still trying to convince the Russian government to extradite him to US. Snowden who had been in Hong Kong for weeks fled to Moscow in a bid to claim asylum in Ecuador.
However, the Russian government claims that he is still in the transit area and hence cannot be considered in Moscow yet adding that US request could not be considered.
Meanwhile, Ecuador has said that it was waiving favourable trade rights under a trade agreement with the US and has also offered the $23 million dollars in aid for “education about human rights.”
Analysts said that US could use its direct aid and trade benefits as leverage against Ecuador. However, the Ecuadorean officials said that it is waiving off the agreements “unilaterally and irrevocably”.
President Barack Obama has said that he has no intention of engaging in diplomatic “wheeling and dealing” on the Snowden issue.
‘My son no traitor’
The father of fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden insisted Friday his son was not a traitor for revealing details of secret surveillance programs, although admitted he did break the law.
In an interview with NBC News, Lonnie Snowden also said he had told US Attorney General Eric Holder through his lawyer that his son would probably be willing to return home.