NSA leaker accepts political asylum in Venezuela: Russian official

9 July 2013 — PressTV

US whistleblower Edward Snowden has accepted an offer of political asylum from Venezuela, a top Russian lawmaker confirms.

“As was expected, Snowden agreed to (Venezuelan President Nicolas) Maduro’s offer of political asylum,” Alexei Pushkov, the head of the Russian parliament’s foreign affairs committee, said on his Twitter account Tuesday. 

Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia had all offered political asylum to Snowden over the weekend. 

The former CIA employee has revealed to the news media details of secret surveillance programs under which US spy agencies collect massive amounts of data on people’s communications via telephone and the Internet. 

The fugitive leaker added that the NSA has a department called the Foreign Affairs Directorate which coordinates work with other Western spying agencies. 

The former NSA contractor has also revealed that the American agency spies on European Union offices in New York, Washington and Brussels, drawing ire from European leaders, especially Germany. 

Snowden, 30, has reportedly holed up in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport since arriving on a flight from Hong Kong on June 23. He is wanted in the US on espionage charges.

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