• Mon
  • Sep 1, 2014
  • Updated: 11:22pm
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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This article is now closed to comments

norodnik
Fly AeroFlot first class....it's cheaper and I cannot imagine the flight being intercepted.....
whatever
Is there a plane capable of flying direct to Iceland? It's going to have to refuel somewhere. Maybe the US will wait to formally charge him until he is in the air, then nab him at a refueling stop in Europe or the Middle East.
Pearl of Orient
Apart from cyberhacking potential "terrorists" emails and cell phones, how much other information has US and England stolen from HK ie stock market, financial and monetary decisions and many other investment decisions which could easily turn a UK or English guy a billionaire overnight!!
richieskerr
America was the first to apply massive drone technology in undeclared "wars" around the world and is in the planning stages of introducing drone technology in a massive way in the United States itself. Drones can be used for peaceful purposed but the United States has been the first nation out of the gate to use drones in warfare in such a massive way. One can certainly not fault the Chinese for developing this same technology in response. Didn't the Obama Administration see this coming? Soon every nation will be developing drones, and a new arms race will be in the making.
norodnik
Stranger things are yet to happen in this drama....
impala
Oh yeah, let's take the advice of the guy who has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy for over a year. What could go wrong.
norodnik
The food is great...you should try it....(willingly though)
aplucky1
did anyone see his possibly retarded father being interviewed ?
telling him to go back to america!
what is wrong with this guy

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