Snowden's Hong Kong lawyer says HK government asked him to leave city

HONG KONG (REUTERS) - A Hong Kong lawyer representing ex-CIA contractor Edward Snowden said on Monday that a middle man claiming to represent the Hong Kong government told Snowden that he should leave the city.

Legislator Albert Ho told reporters he was approached by Snowden several days ago, and that Snowden had sought reassurances from the Hong Kong government on whether he would be able to leave the city freely, if he chose to do so.

Mr Ho, however, said that an individual claiming to represent the Hong Kong government had subsequently indicated to Snowden that he was free to leave the city and should do so.

"By going through not entirely legal avenues, and using a person whose identity isn't entirely clear to tell him (Snowden) that the government wants him to leave. This is a highly unusual action."

Snowden sought asylum in Ecuador on Sunday after Hong Kong allowed his departure for Russia in a blow to Washington's efforts to extradite him on espionage charges.