US Secretary of State John Kerry has said that America is not aware about the intended travel destination of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden but he “would be deeply troubled” if China and Russia knew about the whistleblower’s plans.
John Kerry made his statement at a news conference in India with the Indian Minister of External Affairs Salman Khurshid.
After Edward Snowden arrived to Moscow on Sunday, Washington urged Russia to prevent him from taking flight to Cuba to evade prosecution in the United States for espionage, and extradite the former CIA contractor back to the US.
“We expect the Russian government to look at all options available to expel Mr. Snowden back to the US to face justice for the crimes with which he is charged,” the White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden stressed.
Earlier the US demanded Hong Kong to arrest Snowden while he was staying there.
Hong Kong authorities allowed Edward Snowden to leave the country because there was no legal reason to restrict him from leaving their territory since the documents for Snowden’s extradition submitted by Washington “did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law.”
Snowden’s plane leaves Moscow, NSA leaker not seen aboard
Ex-CIA contractor, Edward Snowden, has not been seen aboard the plane to Havana on which he would reportedly be traveling, reports RT’s correspondent on the flight. The plane has already departed from Moscow’s Sheremetevo airport.
Russian airline Aeroflot had previously confirmed that Snowden had checked in for flight SU150 to Havana with two seats (17A and 17C) in his name. However, journalists on board the plane said there was no sign of him.
RT’s correspondent, Egor Piskunov who flew out on the plane to Havana said the media presence in the boarding lounge was “astonishing.”
“Mr. Snowden has so far not been seen, but something out of the ordinary is definitely happening, judging by the security and the amount of media,” said Piskunov reporting from the plane to RT.
Media had previously speculated that Snowden was due to fly to Havana and then on to Ecuador where his asylum request is currently being processed. Snowden is currently trying to elude a US extradition order against him on charges of espionage, theft and conversion of government property.
Snowden reportedly arrived in Moscow on Sunday from Hong Kong on a stopover to a “third country.” The Hong Kong authorities released a statement on Sunday confirming his “legal” and “voluntary” departure. The statement also said that the documents for Snowden’s extradition submitted to the Hong Kong authorities by Washington were not sufficient to be able to “process the request.”
It is thought that Snowden spent Sunday night at Terminal F at Moscow’s Sheremetevo airport because he does not possess a valid Russian visa.
“On Sunday the Ecuadorian ambassador to Russia paid a visit to a VIP launch here. He didn’t comment on whom he was meeting, but it’s very likely that it was Mr. Snowden,” Piskunov told RT.
Snowden’s plane to Cuba will pass through US airspace – source
Ex-CIA contractor, Edward Snowden’s plane to Cuba will pass through US airspace, an Interfax source reports. Washington has an extradition notice against Snowden on charges of espionage and could intervene if the plane enters US jurisdiction.
Aeroflot flight SU150 and will fly through US airspace a couple of kilometers from the coast of New York on its way to Havana, reported Russian news agency Interfax, citing a source in Sheremetevo airport air traffic control. Snowden has checked in for the flight and there are two seats under his name, reports the Associated Press, citing Aeroflot. The plane has finished boarding and Snowden has not been seen on board.
The source added that US air traffic control can legally ground the plane and take Snowden into custody on charges of espionage, theft and conversion of government property. However, the pilot may change the course of the flight so as not to pass through American airspace.
“The pilot of the plane is within his rights to change the course of the flight and there should be enough fuel to do so,” said the source to Interfax.
daily alternative | alternative news – Snowden Misses his flight, Kerry deeply troubled if China, Russia had prior notice of travel plans