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Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:32 PM

Ecuador says letter of safe conduct for Snowden is real, but unauthorized and invalid

Michael Weissenstein And Julie Pace
The Associated Press
Jun 27, 2013 | Last Updated: Jun 27, 2013 - 2:50 UTC

... Ecuadorean officials have repeatedly expressed sympathy for Snowden for revealing secret global U.S. surveillance programs, but have insisted they have taken no decision on granting him asylum, and they rushed to distance themselves from the unsigned letter shown by Univision.

Secretary of Political Management Betty Tola told a news conference that "any document of this type has no validity and is the exclusive responsibility of the person who issued it."

Another government official said that while the document is authentic, it was issued without approval from the Foreign Ministry or other officials in the capital and thus has no legal power. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.

Tola told reporters that Snowden's asylum application hadn't been processed because he was not in Ecuador as required by law. She also threatened legal action against whoever had leaked the document ...


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