HK to handle Snowden's case according to laws

Updated: 2013-06-15 20:51


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HONG KONG - Hong Kong Chief Executive C Y Leung said on Saturday the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) government will handle the case of whistleblower Edward Snowden in accordance with the laws and established procedures of Hong Kong when the relevant mechanism is activated.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong SAR government will follow up on any incidents related to the privacy or other rights of the institutions or people in Hong Kong being violated, he said in a statement.

Snowden, the 29-year-old defense contractor who fled Hong Kong on May 20 and is still believed to be hiding somewhere in the city, had exposed two classified US National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programs, one collecting phone records and the other mining Internet data. In Hong Kong, he provided the Guardian with top-secret documents that has led to a series of revelations about the extent of US surveillance.

Snowden also told Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post that the US government had been hacking into computers in Hong Kong and on the Chinese mainland since 2009. Snowden believed there had been more than 61,000 NSA hacking operations globally, with hundreds of targets in Hong Kong and on the mainland.

Also on Saturday, hundreds of people held a rally in Hong Kong in support of Snowden. Demonstrators marched from Chater Garden to the US Consulate General in Hong Kong, before continuing on to the Hong Kong SAR government headquarters.

Snowden, also a former CIA-employee, has said he'll stay in Hong Kong to fight any attempt to extradite him to the United States.