Ecuador denies issuing travel document to US fugitive Edward Snowden

Ecuador denies it has issued a temporary travel document to US fugitive Edward Snowden.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange had said that Snowden, wanted by the US for leaking secret information about a spying program, received a refugee document from Ecuador.

However, Reuters cited an Ecuadorean official, Galo Galarza, as saying Wednesday:

"That's not true. There is no passport, no document that has been given [to Snowden] by any Ecuadorean consulate."

Snowden fled the United States to Hong Kong this month, where he hid for several weeks as the US sought his detention.

He flew on to Moscow on Sunday, where he remains in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport.

Like Assange, he has appealed to Ecuador for political asylum, a request the country is considering, although a decision could take months.

Meanwhile, Washington has disputed claims by Hong Kong that paperwork requesting a provisional arrest warrant for Snowden was incomplete, CNN reported.

Hong Kong's justice secretary said Tuesday the city did not help Snowden to depart the Chinese territory for Russia.

Rather, he said, incomplete paperwork prevented officials from issuing a provisional arrest warrant.

According to the Associated Press, Hong Kong officials even said that the US government got Snowden's middle name wrong in documents seeking his arrest.

Justice Secretary Rimsky Yuen said that Hong Kong immigration records listed Snowden's middle name as Joseph, but the US government used the name James in some documents and referred to him only as Edward J. Snowden in others.