Fugitive Snowden is likely Venezuela bound - U.S. journalist

RIO DE JANEIRO Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:03am IST

Protesters supporting Edward Snowden, a contractor at the National Security Agency (NSA), hold a photo of Snowden during a demonstration outside the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong June 13, 2013. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/Files

Protesters supporting Edward Snowden, a contractor at the National Security Agency (NSA), hold a photo of Snowden during a demonstration outside the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong June 13, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Bobby Yip/Files

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RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Fugitive former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden will likely accept asylum in Venezuela to escape prosecution in the United States, Glenn Greenwald, the U.S. journalist who first published the documents he leaked, said on Tuesday.

In an interview immediately after speaking to Snowden by online chat, Greenwald said Venezuela, one of three Latin American countries that have offered Snowden asylum, is the one most likely to guarantee safe passage for the former contractor, especially as the United States pressures other nations not to take him once he leaves his current limbo at a Russian airport.

WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group that has been advising Snowden on his legal options in the search for asylum, suggested earlier on Tuesday that developments in Snowden's search could unfold on Wednesday.

Greenwald, though, said a resolution to the crisis is still unclear and could take "days or hours or weeks."

Greenwald, a blogger and columnist for the London-based Guardian newspaper, said recent contacts with Snowden lead him to believe that the trove of documents that Snowden took from the United States National Security Agency, or NSA, remains safely out of the hands of any foreign governments. (Reporting by Paulo Prada; Editing by Stacey Joyce)

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