When Hong Kong let Edward Snowden leave the country instead of arresting him in accord with the official US request on the grounds that the request was incomplete and invalid, many of us (myself included) assumed that there was a certain amount of nose-thumbing going on. But as it turns out, the US government's extradition request to Hong Kong was remarkably sloppy.
The request didn't include Snowden's full name or passport number. It didn't include a rationale explaining "how two of the three charges the US mentioned in its arrest request fell within the scope of a US-Hong Kong rendition of fugitive offenders agreement signed in 1996." It didn't include any evidence for the charges. And the US didn't respond to prompt requests for clarification from Hong Kong.
HK authorities requested clarification by email on Jun 17 and 21, and by "speed post" on Jun 21. They have yet to receive a response.
I confess I don't understand this. Was it that the bureaucrats pursuing Snowden were incompetent? Arrogant? Paralyzed by infighting? It's a truly astonishing degree of sloppiness.Next post