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Snowden may leave Moscow airport Wednesday

July 24, 2013, 2:40 UTC+3

His lawyer did not elaborate on further plans for security reasons

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MOSCOW, July 24 (Itar-Tass) - Acclaimed Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena who volunteered to be Snowden's legal council in Russia, does not rule out NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden may leave the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on July 24.

Snowden filed documents with Russia’s Federal Migration Service asking for a temporary asylum in Russia last Tuesday. In compliance with established protocol, the Service issues a permit to stay in Russia until the agency considers the asylum request.

In an interview with Izvestia newspaper, Kucherena said: “It usually takes up to seven days for the Federal Migration Service to process relevant paperwork and issue a special certificate,  granting Snowden the right to move freely on Russian soil. We filed the request July 16th. Thus, the consideration period expires this Wednesday.” The lawyer admitted he does not rule out the Federal Migration Service dragging the process out for several days due to the sensitivity of the situation.

Meanwhile, the Federal Migration Service spokeswoman, Zalina Kornilova, told the newspaper she had “no information when Snowden’s documents will be processed.”

Kucherena did not elaborate on Snowden's plans after being granted this permit, mainly because of security reasons. According to the lawyer, it will take up to three months to consider Snowden’s documents for temporary asylum.

Snowden has been staying at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo tranzit zone since June 23, when he arrived here from Hong Kong.

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