Edward Snowden's Future Still Unclear

Accused NSA leaker's fate is still uncertain as he remains stuck in Russian airport.
7:45 | 07/24/13

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Transcript for Edward Snowden's Future Still Unclear
This is a special report from ABC news. -- lot anti Hernandez in New York with his ABC news digital special report. -- day are willing go out conflicting reports today about the future of Edwards Snowden and is illegal has been holed up. In -- Moscow airports transit zone for a month and day. And word -- application for temporary silent in Russia would be granted and he be free to move -- country. Now he's back and limbo again we're joined now by ABC's -- different who's working the story in your high -- And time how -- name what's the latest what do we know about whether or not the Russians have completed the paperwork -- Well I think this is an extraordinary case and even though technically the deadline was today I think Russia is still working out what exactly it wants to do with Edwards now and he is still. In the airport today and the producer who's been in touch with his lawyer. Has been -- hearing that actually he's not gonna leave the airport today are most likely won't leave the airport today lawyer actually walked into the airport handed him some books including Dostoevsky. So he's not exactly running out the door right now so presumably -- stays in the airport but. This process is under way the process of Snowden applying for a temporary asylum that's up to a year that's not full time asylum. In Russia at some point. He will get from the Russian government some kind of piece of paper some kind of slip that says yes we are going to give you asylum -- yes we are considering. -- asylum request and that piece of paper would allow him to walk out of the airport and work and live in Moscow at least temporarily but that hasn't happened yet so. Right now he's still in the airport. -- of the temporary asylum would allow him to remain in Russia get out of that. Let you know holding pattern in the airport for one year. Yeah up to a year but I think that the goal as Snowden has said and -- his attorneys including those who work for WikiLeaks. Have said is that the goal is to get long term asylum temporary -- permanent asylum rather in Latin America and the countries that have offered him that. And so I think Russia is just a transit point for him and so he needs to get out of that airport he needs to figure out what he wants to do and she says or his lawyers say. That ultimately he will fly from Moscow. To South America in which he can actually get permanent asylum so he needs that temporary asylum to be able to go anywhere else is that correct. Basically -- in or watching the terminal the Tom Hanks movie. He left Hong Kong and while in the air the US government revoked any kind of travel documents so he hasn't gone through Russian customs yet so he's in the transit area and airport you and I and everybody listen now has been in that area between flights. It's an international flight he does not have to check in to Russia in order to get -- national flight but. To get on that flight he -- -- ticket he needs a passport they need some kind of asylum document. And he has none of that said the US government has made sure he can't leave Moscow but unless he gets temporary asylum in Russia he can't leave. This hotel this kind of jail. That he's been in for over a month. -- US isn't happy about any at this what are we heard from the White House today. Getting Jay Carney the President Obama spokesman has says spoken reporters. Aboard Air Force One he said -- -- -- seeking clarity. From Russian authorities about -- status and Carney went on to say look you know our position remains unchanged Oden is quote neither human rights activists -- dissident he's been charged with serious felonies. And there's ample justification for him to -- returned. To the US in the US is definitely putting pressure. On anyone including Russia and Russia's president Vladimir Putin. To send -- back to the US and the US does have a little bit of a card that it is -- right now in about two months President Obama is scheduled to visit. Moscow and visit present including those personal visits are something that -- has enjoyed very much and Obama and the White House has said that that trip is in jeopardy if Snowden is still in Moscow. At the same time Clinton did say recently that the US -- -- cases where the US has not extradited back to Russia. The thinking therefore that perhaps Russia doesn't -- them anything. -- I think there's some brinksmanship here but Putin has been very clear. -- and he's used language. That really sends a message to the White House he said look snout and is not welcome in this country. As an asylum. Applicant. Until he stops -- -- until he stops. Quote harming our friends in the US and to use Putin's language so Putin has gone out of his way to say we have no interest in harboring this guy if he continues to leak secrets. But that said Snowden has applied for temporary asylum. And that's a bit of -- wiggle room for both food and and -- men's lawyers because temporary sound doesn't technically need. The kind of the kind of write off. That permanent asylum would need from the Kremlin or from the top of the government temporary asylum only it's a slightly administrative. Right off so you know we're kind of in the gray area there nobody believes that couldn't will allow anything that he doesn't approve of in terms of Snowden so. Snowden could be given temporary asylum by a smaller court that and that doesn't touch -- but. Food knows that this is a very hot issue for the White House and he's made clear at least publicly. That he doesn't wants noted in his country. If it jeopardizes the relationship with the US. Certainly we haven't heard anything about any disclosure of more documents. Snowden has been quiet about that next is benefit at this point. I think it is to benefit but I think he has set. -- some kind of drip drip drip. Feature whether it's electronic or whether it's already been handed to Glenn Greenwald the guardian correspondent who's been reviewing a lot of this stuff. It hasn't made headlines in the US but over the last ten days or so the guardians printed two or three pieces. About snowed in about some of the things that he's -- That have revealed on unknown details about US cooperation -- Germany US cooperation with Brazilian intelligence and so there's still a lot going on. In terms of what he's leaking and Julian Assange told George Stephanopoulos a few weeks ago. That snowed in these leaks are. Going to continue there is no way to stop them so we don't know what's in them. But yes the leaks that we saw at the beginning. They have not been matched and that does help him that keeps him off the front page and so the US the White House and food in the Kremlin can work on this behind the scenes. -- -- to -- bottom line it for -- -- snow and expecting those documents to give him at least temporary asylum -- get out of that airport today they haven't come. What's next. Bottom line here is reading Dostoevsky in the airport for credit -- -- you know. About crime and punishment -- -- an even longer than that. So he'll be there for little -- we just have no idea when held out but presumably at some point. According to these Russian sources according. To these Russian reports -- will walk out of that airport with some kind of temporary asylum. You be able to move around perhaps in Moscow so that. He can fly get from an -- south. Merck aren't -- and thanks again so much. Again word out this afternoon out of Moscow that and is he leaker and what's known could be nearing a deal received temporary asylum from the -- -- -- a chance to -- the airport where he's been for the past month -- has been an ABC news digital special report I heard. This has been a special report from the.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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