QUITO, Ecuador (AP) -
BREAKING NEWS UPDATE -
Ecuador's foreign minister says that the former National Security Agency contractor wanted for revealing classified secrets is seeking asylum in the South American country.
Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino says on his Twitter account that "the government of Ecuador has received a request for asylum on the part of Edward Snowden."
A former National Security Agency contractor wanted by the United States for revealing two highly classified surveillance programs has been allowed to leave for a "third country" because a U.S. extradition request did not fully comply with Hong Kong law, the territory's government said Sunday.
A statement from the government did not identify the country, but the South China Morning Post, which has been in contact with Edward Snowden, reported that he was on a plane for Moscow, but that Russia was not his final destination.
Snowden, who has been in hiding in Hong Kong for several weeks since he revealed information on the highly classified spy programs, has talked of seeking asylum in Iceland.
Russia's ITAR-Tass news agency, citing an unidentified Aeroflot official, said Snowden would fly from Moscow to Cuba on Monday and then take a flight to Caracas, Venezuela.
Snowden's departure came a day after the United States made a formal request for his extradition and warned Hong Kong against delaying the process of returning him to face trial in the U.S.