Edward Snowden Asylum – 21 States – As of 1:30 pm ET

July 2, 2013

Edward Joseph Snowden asylum responses and our extradition treaties with those States:

  1. Austria – Snowden must be on Austria’s soil in order to complete the request
    Extradition:Austria Extradition Treaty with the United States
  2. Bolivia – Possibly might grant asylum
    Extradition:Bolivia Extradition Treaty with the United States
  3. Brazil – Snowden has been denied asylum
    Extradition:Brazil Extradition Treaty with the United States
  4. China – No response reported as of this posting
    Extradition with Hong Kong: China (Hong Kong) Extradition Treaty with the United States
  5. Cuba – No response reported as of this posting
    Extradition:Cuba Extradition Treaty with the United States
  6. Ecuador – Snowden must be on Ecuador’s soil in order to complete the request
    Extradition:Ecuador Extradition Treaty with the United States
  7. Finland – Snowden must be on Findland’s soil in order to complete the request
    Extradition:Finland Extradition Treaty with the United States
  8. France – No response reported as of this posting
    Extradition:France Extradition Treaty with the United States
  9. Germany – No response reported as of this posting
    Extradition:Germany Extradition Treaty with the United States
  10. Iceland – Snowden must be on Iceland’s soil in order to complete the request
    Extradition:Iceland (Denmark) Extradition Treaty with the United States
  11. India – Snowden’s asylum request has been denied
    Extradition:India Extradition Treaty with the United States
  12. Ireland – Snowden must be on Ireland’s soil in order to complete the request
    Extradition:Ireland Extradition Treaty with the United States
  13. Italy – Snowden’s asylum request has been denied
    Extradition:Italy Extradition Treaty with the United States
  14. Netherlands – No response reported as of this posting
    Extradition:Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, and Aruba Extradition Treaty with the United States
  15. Nicaragua – No response reported as of this posting
    Extradition:Nicaragua Extradition Treaty with the United States
  16. Norway – Snowden must be on Norway’s soil in order to complete the request
    Extradition:Norway Extradition Treaty with the United States
  17. Poland – Snowden’s asylum request has been denied
    Extradition:Poland Extradition Treaty with the United States
  18. Russia – Snowden has withdrawn his asylum request
    No Extradition Treaty
  19. Spain – Snowden must be on Spain’s soil in order to complete the request
    Spain Extradition Treaty with the United States
  20. Switzerland – No response reported as of this posting
    Extradition:Switzerland Extradition Treaty with the United States
  21. Venezuela – Possibly might grant asylum
    Extradition:Venezuela Extradition Treaty with the United States

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

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“Did US flub Snowden extradition request? Hong Kong cites legal problems, Russia cites neutral zone”

June 24, 2013

ABA Journal on June 24, 2013 released the following:

By Debra Cassens Weiss

“American University law professor Steve Vladeck offers his take on why Edward Snowden was allowed to leave Hong Kong this weekend.

“The Hong Kong authorities used the murkiness of extradition law to make what was a political decision,” he told the Washington Post. Snowden has been charged with espionage for revealing the data collection program by the National Security Agency.

Hong Kong allowed Snowden to board a flight to Russia on Sunday though the U.S. had requested his extradition. He then booked a flight from Russia to Cuba, but he was not on board the plane, the Associated Press reports. He has requested asylum in Ecuador, and he was expected to travel to Cuba on his way there.

Hong Kong authorities said they couldn’t prevent Snowden from leaving their country because the United States “did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law.” Russia does not have an extradition agreement with the United States, and its officials said they have no legal authority to detain Snowden, the Washington Post reports. As long as Snowden is in a secure transit zone in the airport, he is not on Russian soil, according to Vladimir Lukin, Russia’s human rights ombudsman.

The New York Times reports that the United States may have flubbed Snowden’s case when it failed to revoke his passport. Former federal prosecutor David Laufman told the newspaper that the passport should have been revoked after charges were filed against Snowden on June 14. The United States did revoke Snowden’s passport on Saturday, but it was unclear if Hong Kong authorities were aware of the move or if it mattered because Snowden reportedly had special refugee travel documents from Ecuador arranged by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Attorney General Eric Holder had placed a call to his counterpart in Hong Kong on June 19 to stress the importance of extradition, and the United States had asked whether any additional documents were needed two days before, the Washington Post reports. Hong Kong requested more information on Friday, and U.S. officials were preparing the response when Snowden left for Russia.

Secretary of State John Kerry, meanwhile, warned of “consequences” if Russia allows Snowden to board a plane out of the country. Kerry said the United States has extradited seven Russian prisoners in the last two years, and “reciprocity is pretty important.” The fact that Snowden did not get on the plane to Cuba raised the possibility Russia detained Snowden, either to send him to the United States or to question him for its own purposes, the Times says.

Ecuador does have an extradition treaty with the United States, but it has an exception for “crimes or offenses of a political character,” Bloomberg News reports. U.S. prosecutors may have tried to avoid the political crimes exception by also charging Snowden with theft of government property, New York lawyer Douglas Burns told the wire service.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Ecuador, extradition treaty between the United States and Cuba, extradition treaty between the United States and Venezuela here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

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U.S. v. Edward J. Snowden – Federal Criminal Complaint

June 21, 2013

As International Extradition Lawyer Douglas McNabb predicted, the U.S. has charged Mr. Snowden in a Federal Criminal Complaint. He was charged on June 14, 2013 with the following federal criminal violations:

  • 18 USC 641 – Theft of Government Property
  • 18 USC 793(d) – Unauthorized Communication of National Defense Information
  • 18 USC 798(a)(3) – Willful Communication of Classified Communications Intelligence Information to an Unauthorized Person

A copy of the Snowden Federal Criminal Complaint may be found here.

“U.S. charges Snowden with espionage”

The Washington Post on June 21, 2013 released the following:

By Peter Finn and Sari Horwitz,

“Federal prosecutors have filed a criminal complaint against Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked a trove of documents about top-secret surveillance programs, and the United States has asked Hong Kong to detain him on a provisional arrest warrant, according to U.S. officials.

Snowden was charged with theft, “unauthorized communication of national defense information” and “willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person,” according to the complaint. The last two charges were brought under the 1917 Espionage Act.

The complaint, which initially was sealed, was filed in the Eastern District of Virginia, a jurisdiction where Snowden’s former employer, Booz Allen Hamilton, is headquartered and a district with a long track record of prosecuting cases with national security implications. After The Washington Post reported the charges, senior administration officials said late Friday that the Justice Department was barraged with calls from lawmakers and reporters and decided to unseal the criminal complaint.

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment.

Snowden flew to Hong Kong last month after leaving his job at an NSA facility in Hawaii with a collection of highly classified documents that he acquired while working at the agency as a systems analyst.

The documents, some of which have been published in The Post and Britain’s Guardian newspaper, detailed some of the most-
secret surveillance operations undertaken by the United States and Britain , as well as classified legal memos and court orders underpinning the programs in the United States.

The 30-year-old intelligence analyst revealed himself June 9 as the leaker in an interview with the Guardian and said he went to Hong Kong because it provided the “cultural and legal framework to allow me to work without being immediately detained.”

Snowden subsequently disappeared from public view; it is thought that he is still in the Chinese territory. Hong Kong has its own legislative and legal systems but ultimately answers to Beijing, under the “one country, two systems” arrangement.

The leaks have sparked national and international debates about the secret powers of the NSA to infringe on the privacy of Americans and foreigners. Officials from President Obama on down have said they welcome the opportunity to explain the importance of the programs and the safeguards they say are built into them. Skeptics, including some in Congress, have said the NSA has assumed the power to soak up data about Americans that was never intended under the law.

There was never any doubt that the Justice Department would seek to prosecute Snowden for one of the most significant national security leaks in the country’s history. The Obama administration has shown a particular propensity to go after leakers and has launched more investigations than any previous administration. This White House is responsible for bringing six of the nine total indictments ever brought under the 1917 Espionage Act. Snowden will be the seventh individual when he is formally indicted.

Justice Department officials had already said that a criminal investigation of Snowden was underway and was being run out of the FBI’s Washington field office in conjunction with lawyers from the department’s National Security Division.

By filing a criminal complaint, prosecutors have a legal basis to make the detention request of the authorities in Hong Kong. Prosecutors now have 60 days to file an indictment, probably under seal, and can then move to have Snowden extradited from Hong Kong for trial in the United States.

Snowden, however, can fight the extradition effort in the courts in Hong Kong. Any battle is likely to reach Hong Kong’s highest court and could last many months, lawyers in the United States and Hong Kong said.

The United States has an extradition treaty with Hong Kong, and U.S. officials said cooperation with the Chinese territory, which enjoys some autonomy from Beijing, has been good in previous cases.

The treaty, however, has an exception for political offenses, and espionage has traditionally been treated as a political offense. Snowden’s defense team in Hong Kong is likely to invoke part of the extradition treaty with the United States, which states that suspects will not be turned over to face criminal trial for offenses of a “political character.”

Typically in such cases, Hong Kong’s chief executive must first decide whether to issue a warrant for the accused’s arrest. But the extradition treaty also says that in exceptional cases a provisional warrant can be issued by a Hong Kong judge without the chief executive’s approval. The judge must give the chief executive notice, however, that he has issued the warrant.

A spokesperson at the office of Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying said there was no information on Snowden’s case. The police department did not respond to calls or e-mails. At the police station for Central District in Hong Kong Island, police officers on duty said they had not heard anything about Snowden.

If Snowden is arrested, he would appear before a judge. Bail would be unlikely and, instead, Snowden would be sent to the Lai Chi Kok maximum-security facility in Kowloon, a short drive from the high-end Mira Hotel, where he is last known to have stayed in Hong Kong.

Snowden could also remain in Hong Kong if the Chinese government decides that it is not in the defense or foreign policy interests of the government in Beijing to have him sent back to the United States for trial.

Another option would be for Snowden to apply for asylum with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, which handles most asylum requests in Hong Kong. The UNHCR was closed Saturday morning and did not immediately respond to requests for comment via e-mail and phone. The asylum application process can take months or even years because Hong Kong has a severe backlog. The Hong Kong government cannot formally surrender individuals until their asylum applications have been processed.

Snowden also could attempt to reach another jurisdiction and seek asylum there before the authorities in Hong Kong act.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

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“Treaty gives Hong Kong option to reject Snowden extradition to the US”

June 10, 2013

South China Morning Post on June 10, 2013 released the following:

By: Staff Reporter

“Hong Kong could refuse to extradite US whistleblower Edward Snowden if Beijng wanted to keep him, according to a treaty signed between the United States and Hong Kong almost two decades ago.

Hong Kong has the “right of refusal when surrender implicates the ‘defense, foreign affairs or essential public interest or policy'” of the People’s Republic of China, according to the US-Hong Kong Extradition Treaty signed in 1997.

Snowden chose to seek refuge in Hong Kong because of the city’s “strong tradition of free speech”, he said in an interview with the Guardian published earlier today. He also said that he was concerned about being handed to mainland Chinese or US authorities.

The US justice deparment has initiated an investigation into his leaking of a secret US data gathering programme, that has collected records of trillions of online messages and phone calls over several years. US members of congress have already called for his extradition to the US to stand trial.

China does not have an extradition treaty with the United States.

According to notes on the treaty submitted to the US Senate, the Hong Kong negotiators had insisted on including clauses making it easily possible to deny extradition to the US, arguing that such a clause was essential in obtaining mainland Chinese approval for the treaty.

As such, article 3 of the treaty allows the Chinese government to refuse surrendering a person if it thought the surrender “relates to (its) defense, foreign affairs or essential public interest or policy”.

Hong Kong can also refuse if the city or the mainalnd have begun proceedings for the prosecution of that person. Hong Kong can reject an application if the city felt that the request was “politically motivated” or that Snowden would be prosecuted for his political opinions.

Extradition requests can be made either through the US Consulate Generale in Hong Kong or Interpol, according to the treaty.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Hong Kong here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

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“Beyond Hong Kong: Edward Snowden’s best options for asylum”

June 10, 2013
Edward Snowden
“Edward Snowden explained that he had chosen Hong Kong because it ‘has a strong tradition of free speech’. Photograph: The Guardian/AFP/Getty Images”

The Guardian on June 10, 2013 released the following:

“Choice of Hong Kong as refuge is admired, but speculation remains that he could seek sanctuary in Iceland

[BY] Owen Bowcott and Alexandra Topping

Edward Snowden’s choice of Hong Kong as a refuge from US retribution has been admired by some international lawyers – but it has not quelled speculation that he may seek asylum in another state thereafter, and activists in Iceland are making preparations should the whistleblower try to head there.

Hong Kong is a separate jurisdiction from China and has an extradition treaty with the United States, but the agreement has exceptions – including for crimes deemed to be political. In his video interview with the Guardian, Snowden, 29, an IT contractor, explained that he had chosen the semi-autonomous territory because “Hong Kong has a strong tradition of free speech”.

Under Hong Kong’s Fugitives Offenders Ordinance, however, China can issue an “instruction” to the city’s leader to take or not take action on extraditions where the interests of China “in matters of defence or foreign affairs would be significantly affected”.

One US lawyer, Douglas McNabb, a Houston-based extradition expert, said it would not be difficult for the United States to provide justification for any request. “This guy came out and said: ‘I did it,'” he commented. “[Snowden’s] best defence would probably be that this is a political case instead of a criminal one.”

Other states being mentioned where Snowden might seek sanctuary have included Ecuador, whose embassy in London is currently home to the fugitive WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Venezuela and Iceland – where WikiLeaks has received support.

Iceland’s ministry of the interior – which would have the final say on whether Snowden received asylum – denied that it had received any application from the whistleblower.

“We have heard about this, but we cannot speculate,” said Johannes Tomasson, spokesman for the ministry. “At the moment we have received no inquiry or application from Mr Snowden, and we cannot therefore speculate on whether any such application would be granted.”

But there was a groundswell of support for Snowden, according to information activist Smári McCarthy, executive director of the International Modern Media Institute in Iceland (IMMI), which has started making inquiries about how Snowden might be given refuge.

“Of course we have been following the story with morbid fascination and as soon as [he] mentioned Iceland, that was our cue to take action,” said McCarthy. “We are working on the basis that if he were to arrive in Iceland we would have a plan in place and ready to go.”

McCarthy’s organisation has requested a meeting with the minister of the interior and is in discussions with lawyers about the possibility of Snowden gaining protection in Iceland. One concern for campaigners is that Iceland has an extradition treaty with the US and that it could be diplomatically difficult for the small nation to grant asylum.

“It is not sure whether Iceland would be up for the fight as the US is a major trading partner,” he said. “However, it would be rather embarrassing for the States if it cut ties with this small nation because it had complied with its human rights duties.”

Snowden would have to arrive on Icelandic soil or at one of its embassies in order to claim asylum, but would have popular support in Iceland, said McCarthy. “Everywhere in the Icelandic media today we are seeing that support, with people thinking that Snowden is deserving of Iceland’s protection.”

Iceland has a history of providing asylum, famously giving former world chess champion Bobby Fischer Icelandic citizenship after a vote in the country’s parliament and is considered a world leader in human rights. The US government is unlikely to deprive Snowden of his nationality as a punishment since that could undermine any attempt to extradite him back to the United States to face charges.

Rendering anyone stateless against their will is formally forbidden by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948, which declares under article 15 that: “(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality; (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.”

Individuals, however, can voluntarily renounce their US citizenship. In order to do so they must, according to the US state department, “appear in person before a US consular or diplomatic officer, in a foreign country (normally at a US embassy or consulate); and sign an oath of renunciation.”

The regulations add: “Persons intending to renounce US citizenship should be aware that, unless they already possess a foreign nationality, they may be rendered stateless and, thus, lack the protection of any government. They may also have difficulty travelling as they may not be entitled to a passport from any country.””

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Hong Kong here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email: