Ecuadoran officials say a government employee issued a safe conduct pass for National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden to travel to Ecuador to seek political asylum, but the action was unauthorized and the pass has no validity.

Secretary of Political Management Betty Tola said at a press conference Thursday that "any document of this type has no validity and is the exclusive responsibility of the person who issued it."

She said Snowden's asylum application hadn't been processed because he was not in Ecuador as required by law. She also threatened legal action against whoever had leaked the document.

The Univision television network had earlier published an image of a safe passage letter issued by Ecuador's consulate in London.