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Iceland businessman says plane ready for Snowden

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 21, 2013 at 10:42 am •  Published: June 21, 2013
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REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — An Icelandic business executive said Friday that a private plane is on standby to transport National Security Agency secrets leaker Edward Snowden from Hong Kong to Iceland.

Olafur Vignir Sigurvinsson said he has not spoken directly with Snowden but has been in touch with a third party representing him.

The businessman, who has connections to the WikiLeaks secret-spilling organization, said he has access to planes in Hong Kong and mainland China that Snowden could use.

But Iceland's government says it has not received an asylum request from Snowden, who has revealed his role in providing secret NSA documents about widespread surveillance programs.

Iceland Interior Ministry spokesman Johannes Tomasson said Snowden hasn't approached the ministry and could initiate an asylum request if he was already in Iceland.

When asked about the reports of Sigurvinsson chartering a private plane to fly Snowden to Iceland, Tomasson said: "We don't object to that. But we don't have any knowledge other than what has been in the news. We can't comment any further on that."

U.S. officials have expressed an interest in prosecuting Snowden for his admitted role in the publication of the documents. Snowden fled to Hong Kong and is hiding.

Sigurvinsson said that Snowden's potential private flight is being funded by private donations.

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