Snowden Leaves Hong Kong Despite US Extradition Agreement

Dan Abrams discusses the legal implications of alleged NSA leaker's evasion of U.S. authorities.
1:45 | 06/24/13

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Transcript for Snowden Leaves Hong Kong Despite US Extradition Agreement
We'll bring in our abc news legal affairs anchor, guan right now. Fluid situation going on. What is the recourse that the u.S. Government has right now. Very little. You're talking about political negotiations here. There's very little that they can do legally with the country that he's talking about going to. When you're talking with something like ecuador, there is an enormous irony, of course, because ecuador was one of the worst records when it comes to freedom of the press. Last week they passed a law where human rights watch was blasting them for assaulting free speech. So he's definitely going to places that he thinks that the u.S. Will not be able to get him from. There is an extradition treaty with ecuador, by the way, but there are exceptions when it's a political incident and no question that he will be relying on that in an effort not to get extradited. He's facing three felony charges right now. If those charges were to change and increase does that help in any way in being able to extradite him. No, I think the bottom line is the u.S. Was trying to file the basics for now. You're talking about unauthorized communication of national defense information, willful communication of classified intelligence, government property. Each of these possible ten-year crimes, but there is still the possibility that they could file much more significant charges. I think they'd prefer not to file the more significant charges now. Really. Yes, in the hope of increasing the chances that they can get him back because if they throw the book at him, I think that some of these countries will say, wait a second, this is -- this isn't fair. This is too much. So I think the best shot is doing exactly what they're doing now but I don't think it will make much of a difference. This will be a negotiation that extends far beyond the arm of the law. We've already seen that. Okay, all right, dan, I know

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