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Austria declares Snowden asylum application 'invalid'


08:26, July 03, 2013

VIENNA, July 2 (Xinhua) -- The Austrian interior ministry confirmed Tuesday that American whistleblower Edward Snowden had made an asylum application to Austria, but government leaders have declared it "invalid."

This is because the application was made from Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow and not personally submitted within Austria's borders as it should have been, thereby making the application "invalid," said Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner.

She added that should Snowden travel to Austria he would not be deported, as there was "no international arrest warrant," Austria Press Agency reported.

Both Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann and Vice-Chancellor Michael Spindelegger confirmed the country's stance Tuesday. Faymann said asylum applications were sorted through on an individual basis according to the relevant laws, while Spindelegger said the application was "one of 17,000 every year."

Regarding the spying allegations themselves, Faymann said Austria could "not get back to business as usual" and is waiting for a reply from the United States as to whether data from Austria had been stolen or is currently in use.

Spindelegger said he was expecting more answers in the coming days.

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