Snowden said to leave Moscow airport as Russia grants him asylum for a year

Snowden has left the airport for an unknown destination in Russia, according to a tweet from Wikileaks

National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden has finally left the transit area of the Moscow airport, after Russia granted him temporary asylum, his lawyer told The Wall Street Journal.

Wikileaks, the whistleblowing website that has been handling some asylum negotiations for Snowden, also reported the news via Twitter.

"Edward Snowden was granted temporary asylum in Russia for a year and has now left Moscow airport under the care of WikiLeaks' Sarah Harrison," it said in a tweet.

Snowden's Russian lawyer told the Journal that he had seen his client to a taxi, but did not know where he was going.

For the last five weeks, Snowden had been stuck in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport. He had fled there from Hong Kong in a bid to avoid extradition to the U.S., where he is wanted on charges related to his leaking of documents about the U.S. National Security Agency's surveillance activities.

Peter Sayer covers open source software, European intellectual property legislation and general technology breaking news for IDG News Service. Send comments and news tips to Peter at peter_sayer@idg.com.

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