US disputes Hong Kong claims about Snowden paperwork problems
June 26th, 2013
10:51 PM ET

US disputes Hong Kong claims about Snowden paperwork problems

By Carol Cratty, CNN Senior Producer

Hong Kong authorities contacted the U.S. government late last week asking for clarification of the name on the paperwork requesting a provisional arrest warrant for Edward Snowden.

Hong Kong's Justice Secretary Rimsky Yuen told reporters Tuesday night that  Hong Kong's Justice Secretary Rimsky Yuen said some documents referred to an Edward James Snowden, but Hong Kong immigration records said Joseph was the middle name listed in Snowden's passport.  Other documents only referred to Edward J. Snowden. Yuen said that confusion plus the fact the documents didn't list a passport number for Snowden slowed down the process of considering whether to grant an arrest warrant.

Justice Department statement acknowledged Hong Kong asked for clarification regarding the name but called it an excuse.

"The true motive of the letter from Hong Kong authorities is revealed by its request for the supposed 'clarification' of Mr. Snowden's identity with regard to his middle name," said the statement, which also noted photos and videos of Snowden were widely carried by media outlets.  "That Hong Kong would ask for more information about his identity demonstrates that it was simply trying to create a pretext for not acting on the provisional arrest request.”

The Justice Department statement also said explanations that Hong Kong officials needed Snowden's passport number or more evidence were inaccurate and that the U.S. had met all legal requirements in its paperwork.

Snowden, the former National Security Agency computer contractor who spilled details of U.S. surveillance programs to reporters, flew to Moscow from Hong Kong after American authorities sought his extradition on espionage charges.

The United States has called on any country where Snowden may travel to turn him away. He spent a fourth day Wednesday in Moscow’s airport with no decision on this request for asylum in Ecuador.

On Sunday the Justice Department supplied a timeline saying the United States sent Hong Kong a request to arrest Snowden on June 15 and that Hong Kong acknowledged it on June 17 and asked for no additional information at that time.

A law enforcement official on Wednesday said officials in Hong Kong had the request from the United States for days but waited until the night of June 21 - a Friday -  to raise concern about Snowden's name. The official said if Hong Kong officials really wanted clarification they would have brought it up during the normal U.S. work week.

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Filed under: Edward Snowden • NSA
soundoff (26 Responses)

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    February 23, 2021 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  5. Paddle App

    Our enemies wouldn't turn him over geez I wonder why. His New home is Russia he has a new ID and a new address and a new passport.

    He's a terrible person

    June 11, 2017 at 6:51 pm | Reply
  6. sayflyby

    well I wouldent even whey about that one snowden snowed most new name he got there is now a new name iceden wacted wactden iced,.pnm,.ps un un run run 4it,.pnm,.

    June 27, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Reply
  7. Archon

    Snowden isn't in my book, a patriot or hero....rather somebody who thought he could get famous and land a still better job in the process in Hong Kong.....when HK hesitated Snowden 'released' details of the US hacking China to try and get the Chinese to make HK grant asylum. When that failed he had to move on. As far as the name mix up goes, that's probably has something to do with the people who got him clear of the Wikileaks has some experience with this sort of thing, it was probably intentional and worked as hoped.

    The thing is Snowden didn't have to do any of this if he were interested in exposing a crime...NONE of it. He most likely would have had to testify at a few hearings and maybe appear before Congress and most definitely lost his job, but no espionage charges and he might have been able to write a book or something. But no, he wanted excitement and notoriety and live it up in a glamorous foreign city.

    June 27, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Reply
  8. Powder

    @Sand and John Smith you are definitely not normal People. @Sand i suspect you are busy sowing discontent and hatred in your community which might cause very serious problems in the future. The seeds of nazi Germany were reportedly planted long way back before Adolf Hitler by academic/s who denied the existence of God, a God of loving kindness. You sound like a very bitter, very rude and very stupid rascist capable of murder. Essentially you sound very criminally minded and should be hunted down. @ John Smith i just don't know why CNN blogs don't blacklist and lock out this senseless post you like to post. I am not American, but would like to advise you that hating Americans or Jews or anyone won't get you anywhere especially basing it on emotional lies!

    June 27, 2013 at 8:20 am | Reply
    • Paul Nguyen

      Well said Power. I am a Vietnamese American & I love U.S.A, the best country in the world and I always defend my country.

      June 27, 2013 at 11:20 am | Reply
      • Maersk

        Shouldn't you call yourself a Vietnamese kwok zucking kwok zucker who love zucking white kwoks? You must not have known what evil deeds your adopted uncle had done in Vietnam.

        June 27, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • tax payer

      You have nerv to fight facts with hear say, and stupidity.... your why we are here today. where is your American Dream? did you get it or are you on here because someone told you dirt taste like strawberries....AND YOU NEVER LEARNED TO RAISE A QUESTION... sit in the back of the class.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:08 am | Reply
  9. uncdig

    Holder & the Justice dept. mess up again.
    and again.
    and again.....

    June 27, 2013 at 8:12 am | Reply
  10. Fugitive

    China just being China. He might have become a symbol in China and China is having nothing to do with something like this. Helping him would be a hassle and keeping him could be a hassle, so just send him on his way, problem solved.

    June 27, 2013 at 5:54 am | Reply
  11. Nitrogen1

    What secrets does Snowden have? If they have been compromised they are no longer secret because the cats are out of the bag. If the secrets contain information that has to do with cyber spying not only abroad but at home as well is this method legal according to US law? How an individual of low level status could access such secret material with all the internal security measures employed by NSA, must give the Canadian, British, Aussie and Kiwis a very nervous feeling of sharing their secrets with other Intelligence services who covertly or overtly gather information about dangers to their nations. Perhaps, Snowden and others have access to secrets that they have no need to know. If such is the case then an immediate review and corrective procedures must be quickly employed to ensure that proper procedures and sharper vigilance become the immediate order of the day. Not to do so as quickly as possible endangers us all.

    June 27, 2013 at 2:56 am | Reply
  12. SWEJ

    The horse is out of the barn so quit carping about it.

    June 27, 2013 at 1:54 am | Reply
  13. sand

    just nuke usa and remove the irish american ghanaian half breeds from this earth.

    June 27, 2013 at 1:51 am | Reply
  14. John Smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    June 26, 2013 at 11:52 pm | Reply
    • Mao Dung

      Troll. Shut up. I am here.

      June 27, 2013 at 1:18 am | Reply
      • John Smith

        truth hurts.

        June 27, 2013 at 1:50 am |
    • SWEJ

      John Smith – yeah right!

      June 27, 2013 at 1:55 am | Reply
  15. USMC1371

    So this admin can't get his name right and don't send his passport number but, it's their fault for not turning him over? Making bush look better every day at least he appointed people that could spell......

    June 26, 2013 at 11:46 pm | Reply
    • Maersk

      Bush didn't even know erection and Iraqtion is not the same. If he did, he would not be as curious as Curious George and found out he could not get an erection by attacking Iraq.

      June 27, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Reply

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