WikiLeaks: Snowden hasn’t accepted asylum in Venezuela

MOSCOW (AP) — WikiLeaks says its fellow secret-spiller, Edward Snowden, hasn’t yet formally accepted asylum in Venezuela.

Earlier today, a prominent Russian lawmaker tweeted that Snowden had, in fact, accepted that offer — but the posting was deleted a few minutes later. The lawmaker later said his claim was based on a report from an all-news TV station. But the station says the lawmaker misunderstood its report last night, and that it hasn’t reported that Snowden has agreed to go to Venezuela.

Snowden has applied for asylum in a number of countries, and it’s not clear just how easy it would be for him to travel to South America from Moscow, where he’s still believed to be holed up in the airport.

For Snowden to go to Venezuela, he would need for that country to issue him travel documents. And then he’d have to find a way to get there.

The only direct commercial flight from Moscow stops in Havana and goes over Europe and the United States, which could cause complications. Some European countries refused to let Bolivia’s president fly through their airspace on his way home from Moscow last week because of suspicions that Snowden was on his plane.

The Bolivian president — along with the leaders of Venezuela and Nicaragua — have said Snowden is welcome in their countries.

%@AP Links

151-c-13-(Jim Heintz, AP correspondent)-”been physically sighted”-AP correspondent Jim Heintz says all indications are that Snowden is still regarded as “in transit” at a Moscow airport. (9 Jul 2013)

<<CUT *151 (07/09/13)££ 00:13 “been physically sighted”

152-c-12-(Jim Heintz, AP correspondent)-”other Russian authorities”-AP correspondent Jim Heintz reports the tweeter in question is a Russian lawmaker who’s been the unofficial point man for the Kremlin on the Snowden case. (9 Jul 2013)

<<CUT *152 (07/09/13)££ 00:12 “other Russian authorities”

153-c-11-(Jim Heintz, AP correspondent)-”on June 23rd”-AP correspondent Jim Heintz reports on the Russian legislator who’s been serving as the Kremlin’s point man regarding Snowden. (9 Jul 2013)

<<CUT *153 (07/09/13)££ 00:11 “on June 23rd”

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