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  • Oct 21, 2014
  • Updated: 5:00am
Edward Snowden
NewsHong Kong

WikiLeaks plane ‘ready’ to bring Snowden to Iceland

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 June, 2013, 10:01am
UPDATED : Friday, 21 June, 2013, 10:50am
 

A chartered private jet is ready to bring US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden to Iceland from Hong Kong, a businessman connected to whistleblowing website WikiLeaks said late on Thursday.

“Everything is ready on our side and the plane could take off tomorrow,” Icelandic businessman Olafur Sigurvinsson, head of WikiLeaks partner firm DataCell, told Channel2 television.

“We have really done all we can do. We have a plane and all the logistics in place. Now we are only awaiting a response from the [Icelandic] government,” added the boss of Datacell, which handles donations to WikiLeaks.

The private jet belongs to a Chinese firm and has been chartered at a cost of more than US$240,000 thanks to individual contributions received by Datacell, he said.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said on Wednesday he had been in contact with representatives of Snowden to discuss his possible bid for asylum in Iceland following his disclosure of US surveillance programmes.

Former US government contractor Snowden, who turns 30 on Friday, fled to Hong Kong on May 20. The United States has yet to file any formal extradition request after his bombshell leak of the National Security Agency programmes.

Iceland has said it held informal talks with an intermediary of Snowden over the possibility of seeking political asylum, but that he must present himself on Icelandic soil.

Snowden has expressed an interest in taking refuge in Iceland, saying it is a country that stands up for Internet freedoms.

However, observers say Iceland’s new centre-right coalition may be less willing to anger the United States than its leftist predecessor.

Interior Minister Hanna Kristjansdottir said on Tuesday that the government did not feel bound by a 2010 resolution by parliament seeking to make the country a safe haven for journalists and whistleblowers from around the globe.

“The resolution is not a part of the laws that apply to asylum seekers,” she told public broadcaster RUV.

Sigurvinsson said it was unlikely that Snowden would travel to Iceland without receiving a green light from the government in Reykjavik.

“It would be stupid to come here only to be extradited to the United States. In that case he’d be better off where he is,” the businessman said.

Snowden has gone to ground in Hong Kong, surfacing to conduct media interviews from undisclosed locations.

Assange this week marked a year in refuge at the Ecuadoran embassy in London. Sweden wants to put him on trial for rape, but the WikiLeaks founder says the prosecution is politically motivated.

 

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hard times !
how can our hero Mr.Snowden safely arrives in Iceland which is more than half a globe from Hong Kong and there is no direct flight from here(Hong Kong) to Iceland's capital ? Besides,even the chartered private plane might be intercepted by US fighter planes en route to Iceland or CIAs waiting for his arrival in Iceland at the island nations's airport and airlift him back to Washington's air base.There are numerous risks awaiting Snowden once he emerges from his 'safe lodge' in town.Many risks indeed.Take care, Mr.Snowden.your former colleagues,Team Q members might be in the territory as well. Wish you every good luck and may the goddess of forutne blesses you ! amen.
blue
"did anyone see his possibly retarded father being interviewed ?
telling him to go back to america!
what is wrong with this guy"

Snowden's father is totally brainwashed and works for the US government.
Hollander323
Edward, you have made the right choice choosing HK, here in HK you can enjoy the most international attentions, and because of this you would be given the best protection. Thought HK is part of China, as a person the freedom that you can enjoy here is huge, the democrats of HK are just crying wolf, anyone can see that Chinese Central Government is very tolerant and allowing great freedom to HK Government to handle matter like this. People of HK has already expressed their view about your stay, so, you are very safe. If you really want to go to Iceland, you should do so after at least half a year, when the entire matter has ferment-ated fully to attain the effect that it should have. This would do good to yousef and to the free world, and also to HK and China.
hilaryj
Russia has to be a more interesting place to live, and probably safer, than Iceland.
jayb
hot russian girls too... problem is, they get fat fast... but then, american women are even more obese...
richieskerr
I do hope that Iceland does offer Snowden refuge, he is a whistleblower, not a spy. And whistleblowers are, at least in theory, protected by the laws of the United States. He has revealed the vast digital library that has recorded virtually all conversations of Americans and communications between them. This can be used, as it likely has so far, to protect Americans but it is hardly secure, if one government contractor had access to so much information. Snowden's "crime" was revealing this vulnerability to the American people, that could be exploited by foreign enemies of the United States, or even by government employees of the United States, or some future less benign government of the United States.
hard times !
Yeah maybe this leaker-hero better stay in Hong Kong or even go to Russia which has already expressed their willingness to accept him earlier on instead of going to the so-called internet haven---Iceland which new government is a cente-right one which might not dare/eager to stand against a request to have Snowden extradicted to the States.It would be very stupid for our leaker-hero to fly to Iceland which is not safe enough for him as it is also much nearer to Washington than his present hiding-place ---- Hong Kong which is also a part of Mainland China and his safety is highly guaranteed. Maybe Snowden should seriously ponder whether to remain here as long as possible or go to Russia instead of Iceland as he is now accused by some politicians as a traitor already ! His extradiction back to the States will definitely be a bitter end to him -----no fair trial will be avalable instead there will be beatings,trials and long-term jail term or maybe execution for treason----leaking top-secret national cyber-spying activiites to the whole world !
hard times !
Now Chinse military has its own drones too. It is known that the air-defence of Hong Kong is protected by the S300 anti-missile systems bases deployed in Shenzhen which cover the air-space of Hong Kong.Once there are any hostile drones / cruise missiles flying past the territory,their being hit down can be sure.Just wait and see.
hard times !
As it is extremely dangerous once Mr.Snowden emerges from his hiding-place-----the'safe lodge' and tries to board a plane (no matter it is a chartered airliner-----provided by the rich-enough Chinese government for his contributions made in the past weeks and the secret files he brought with hime in his USB-----or a private plane rented from a Chinese company for US$ 240,000 which is cheap enough for his good job done-------revelations to the whole world what has long harmed them through the cyber-spying of the NSA, his boarding to the plane and en route to Iceland and refuelling in the midway if not flying past Russian territory have hidden dangers awaiting him.Even arrival in Iceland does not guarantee his security for the Icelandic government might be pressured by the Obama administration (which hates Snowden to the extreme for his so-called treason) to hand him over. Or there will be CIAs waiting for Snowden in the airport of Iceland when he arrives.So I think he should seriously considering seeking an asylum here in Hong Kong or in Mainland China where he will be properly protected and his knowledge in computer science can be helpful to our Chinese youngsters too.
norodnik
Does the HKSARG have the capability of spotting drones over Kowloon?

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