Snowden doesn't have document allowing him to leave airport: lawyer
MOSCOW, Russia (2nd UPDATE) – US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden does not yet have the document that would allow him to leave the transit zone of a Moscow airport as an official asylum seeker, his lawyer said Wednesday, July 24, rejecting earlier reports.
"As of today, this document has not yet been given (to him)," Anatoly Kucherena told Russian state television, saying the process was being drawn out as this was the "first such situation in Russia."
Earlier on Wednesday, RIA Novosti news agency said Russia's migration service has provided Snowden with a document that allows him to leave the Moscow airport transit zone where he has been holed up for the last month.
The document confirms that his application for asylum in Russia is being considered but allows Snowden to cross the Russian border so long as border guards do not object, it said.
The agency added that the document was initially given to Kucherena, who was now on his way to Sheremetyevo airport and about to arrive.
The Interfax news agency said Snowden could leave the airport in the "next hours."
"The American is currently getting ready to leave. He is being provided with new clothes," Interfax said.
RIA Novosti cited a source within the Russian border guards service as saying he would be allowed to leave the airport as soon as he presents the document.
Snowden earlier this month applied for asylum, a process that could take up to 3 months. Kucherena has said he may even apply for Russian citizenship. - Rappler.com