By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday June 25, 2013
Edward Snowden not spotted on flight to Cuba
Confusion over the whereabouts of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden grew on Monday after a jetliner flew from Moscow to Cuba with an empty seat booked in his name.
Aeroflot said earlier that Snowden had registered for the flight using his U.S. passport, which the United States recently annulled.
The founder of the WikiLeaks secrets-spilling organization, Julian Assange, insisted he couldn’t go into details about where Snowden was, but said he was safe.
Snowden has applied for asylum in Ecuador, Iceland and possibly other countries, Assange said. An Aeroflot representative who wouldn’t give her name told The Associated Press that Snowden didn’t board Flight SU150 to Havana, which was filled with journalists trying to track him down. Two AP journalists on the flight confirmed after it arrived Monday evening in Havana that Snowden wasn’t on the plane.
A member of the Aeroflot crew spoke briefly to reporters gathered outside Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport, but would not give his name. “No special people on board,” he said, smiling. “Only journalists.”
Security around the aircraft was heavy prior to boarding in Moscow and guards tried to prevent the scrum of photographers and cameramen from taking pictures of the plane, heightening speculation that Snowden might have been secretly escorted on board.
But about two dozen journalists who made the flight searched up and down the plane after boarding in a fruitless hunt for Snowden. One increasingly desperate Russian television reporter was briefly convinced that AP reporter Max Seddon might be the NSA leaker. (Source: CBC News)