As Hong Kong has "yet to have sufficient information to process the request for provisional warrant of arrest, there is no legal basis to restrict Mr Snowden from leaving Hong Kong," the government said in the statement. Hong Kong said it had already informed the U.S. about Snowden's departure.
The Hong Kong special administrative region has also asked for clarification from the U.S. on earlier reports about the hacking of computer systems in Hong Kong by U.S. government agencies. The government said it will continue to follow up on the matter so as to protect the legal rights of the people of Hong Kong. Snowden told the Post that the U.S. is hacking Chinese mobile phones companies to steal text messages, the newspaper reported Sunday. He had earlier alleged that the NSA had snooped on targets in Hong Kong and on the Chinese mainland, according to the newspaper.
(Juan Carlos Perez in Miami contributed to this report.)