Edward Snowden ‘seeks asylum in further six countries’

Written by admin   // July 5, 2013   // 0 Comments

Edward Snowden is believed to have been holed up at a Moscow airport since last month.

Fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has applied for political asylum in an additional six countries, Wikileaks says.

The whistleblowing website said it would not name the countries “due to attempted US interference”.

Mr Snowden has already asked 21 countries for asylum, most of whom have turned down his request.

Bolivia, which suggested it might offer him asylum, saw its presidential plane barred from European airspace.

There was speculation the 30-year-old was on the plane carrying President Evo Morales back from Russia to La Paz earlier this week.

Widely condemned

“Edward Snowden has applied to another six countries for asylum,” tweeted Wikileaks, which has been helping the former CIA contractor.

“They will not be named at this time due to attempted US interference.”

The US has been blamed for being behind the decision by France, Portugal, Italy and Spain to close its airspace to Bolivia’s president, whose plane was grounded in Austria for 13 hours as a result.

Earlier on Friday, Spain’s foreign minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo admitted he and the other European countries had been told that Mr Snowden was on board – but refused to say who gave out the information.

He denied Spain had closed its airspace to the presidential plane, explaining that the delay in Austria meant the flight permit had expired and needed to be renewed.

His comment is the first official recognition by the European states that the incident with Mr Morales’ plane was connected with the Snowden affair.

It has been widely condemned by President Morales and several other South American nations, who were critical of the US.

Mr Snowden is believed to be holed up in a transit area of Moscow airport, having arrived there from Hong Kong last month.

He revealed himself to be responsible for the leaking of classified US intelligence documents that revealed a vast surveillance programme of phone and web data.

The documents have also led to allegations that both the UK and French intelligence agencies run similarly vast data collection operations, and the US has been eavesdropping on official EU communications.


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