Edward Snowden

Assange 'brokering' Snowden asylum bid in Iceland

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 June, 2013, 8:48am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 4:13am

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

In a conference call with reporters, Assange said he had been in contact with representatives of Snowden, who has been based in Hong Kong since May 20, to discuss a potential attempt at securing asylum.

“We are in touch with Mr Snowden’s legal team and have been, are involved, in the process of brokering his asylum in Iceland,” said Assange, who is holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy in London where he is fighting extradition to Sweden.

Former US government contractor Snowden, 29, fled to Hong Kong on May 20 but the United States has yet to file any formal extradition request after his bombshell leak of information about National Security Agency surveillance programmes.

Earlier on Wednesday, Iceland said it had held informal talks with an intermediary of Snowden over the possibility of seeking political asylum there.

“A representative of his has, to my knowledge... had some informal discussions with some employees of a couple of ministries, but no formal discussions,” Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson said during a visit to Stockholm.

He said that Snowden would need to be in Iceland in order to apply for asylum.