USEUROPEAFRICAASIA 中文双语Français
China
Home / China / World

Wikileaks plane 'ready' for leaker

By Agence France-Presse in Reykjavik | China Daily | Updated: 2013-06-22 08:25

 Wikileaks plane 'ready' for leaker

A woman walks past a banner displayed in support of Edward Snowden in Hong Kong on Tuesday. Philippe Lopez / Agence France-Presse

Private aircraft could take off soon for Iceland

A chartered private jet is ready to bring US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden to Iceland from Hong Kong, a businessman connected to whistle-blowing 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 company and has been chartered at a cost of more than $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 programs.

Former US government contractor Snowden, who turned 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 programs.

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 center-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 whistle-blowers 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.

Editor's picks
BACK TO THE TOP
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349
FOLLOW US