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.
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