Not only does the statement reject the U.S.’s request to extradite Snowden, but it also announces the Hong Kong government’s request for “clarification” on potential U.S. hacking attempts on Hong Kong computer systems.
The full statement is below (emphasis added):
Edward Snowden has left Hong Kong on his own accord for a third country through a lawful and normal channel, and Hong Kong has informed the US Government of his departure.
The Hong Kong Government today said the US Government had earlier requested a provisional warrant of arrest against Mr Snowden.
Since the documents provided by the US Government did not fully comply with legal requirements under Hong Kong law, the Hong Kong Government requested additional information so that the Department of Justice could consider whether the US Government’s request met relevant legal conditions.
As the Hong Kong Government did not yet have sufficient information to process the request, there was no legal basis to restrict Mr Snowden from leaving Hong Kong.
At the same time, it has formally written to the US Government requesting clarification on reports about the hacking of computer systems in Hong Kong by US government agencies. It will follow up on the matter, to protect the legal rights of people of Hong Kong.
White House National Security Adviser Tom Donilon said Saturday that “we expect” Hong Kong to extradite Snowden.
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