Edward Snowden, identified as the source for a series of blockbuster news reports on National Security Agency spying, said in an interview published on Wednesday that he would fight any effort to extradite him from Hong Kong to the United States.
“My intention is to ask the courts and people of Hong Kong to decide my fate. I have been given no reason to doubt your system,” Snowden told the South China Morning Post. The newspaper did not say where he was but described Snowden as having been “holed up in secret locations in Hong Kong.”
Snowden also hit back against those who have said he claims to have done nothing wrong by exposing the NSA’s secrets but fled to Hong Kong.
“People who think I made a mistake in picking HK as a location misunderstand my intentions. I am not here to hide from justice; I am here to reveal criminality,” Snowden told the Post.
He added, "I'm neither traitor nor hero. I'm an American."
The Post also sheds a little light on Snowden’s prospects for being turned over to U.S. authorities:
No extradition request has yet been filed. Hong Kong has an extradition treaty with the US, although analysts say any attempts to bring Mr Snowden to America may take months and could be blocked by Beijing.
- Hong Kong
- National Security Agency