Ex-CIA contractor Edward Snowden was not seen aboard the plane to Havana on which he was reportedly traveling, reports RT’s correspondent on the flight. The plane has already landed in the Cuban capital.
The Russian airline Aeroflot 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.
The pilot of the Moscow-Havana Aeroflot flight many believed would carry Edward Snowden told RT Spanish that the flight went on as usual, with no VIP passengers on board.
RT’s correspondent, Egor Piskunov on board 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.
A member of the airport’s security team told Russian news agency Itar-Tass that Snowden had not left the airport’s transit zone.
“Snowden did not leave on the Aeroflot flight to Havana and is still in the transit zone,” said the source.
Media has already begun to speculate on Snowden’s plans. One source told Interfax that Snowden was likely to have bought another ticket with a transfer in Cuba because “there are no direct flights to Quito and Caracas.”
Previously it was thought that Snowden would 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 Sheremetyevo airport because he does not possess a valid Russian visa.
A source at Aeroflot told Interfax news agency that Snowden had checked into the V-Express» Capsule Hotel Sunday in the airport’s transit area. However, on Monday evening a source at the hotel later told RT that Snowden had in fact never checked in or out of the facility.
“On Sunday the Ecuador ambassador to Russia paid a visit to a VIP lounge at the airport. 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 Sheremetyevo 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.
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