Edward Snowden has been granted temporary asylum in Russia and was allowed to leave the Moscow airport today.
“I have just handed over to him papers from the Russian Immigration Service," said Snowden's legal representative, Anatoly Kucherena, reported RT.com. "They are what he needs to leave the transit zone.”
Kucherena showed a photocopy of Snowden's temporary asylum to the press. The papers say Snowden is allowed to stay in Russia until at least July 31, 2014, but that date could be extended.
With his new status, Snowden cannot be extradited to the United States even if the Obama administration files a formal request, which it failed to do so during Snowden's time at the airport.
“He is the most wanted person on earth and his security will be a priority,” Kucherena said. “He will deal with personal security issues and lodging himself. I will just consult him as his lawyer.”
Some reports say Snowden left the airport alone, while others say WikiLeaks activist Sarah Harrison accompanied him.
Snowden is expected to speak to the press soon.