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Assange says WikiLeaks assisting Snowden asylum bid

Washington, PTI | Updated : 20 June 2013, 09:18 AM

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Wednesday he had been in contact with representatives of Edward Snowden to discuss his possible bid for asylum in Iceland following his disclosure of US surveillance programs.

In a conference call with reporters, Assange said he had been in contact with representatives of Snowden, who has been based in Hong Kong since May 20, to discuss a potential attempt at securing asylum.

"We are in touch with Mr Snowden's legal team and have been, are involved, in the process of brokering his asylum in Iceland," said Assange, who is holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy in London where he is fighting extradition to Sweden.

Former US government contractor Snowden, 29, fled to Hong Kong on May 20 but the US has yet to file any formal extradition request after his bombshell leak of information about National Security Agency surveillance programmes.

Earlier yesterday, Iceland said it has held informal talks with an intermediary of Snowden over the possibility of seeking political asylum there.

"A representative of his has, to my knowledge... had some informal discussions with some employees of a couple of ministries, but no formal discussions," Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson said during a visit to Stockholm.

He said that Snowden would need to be in Iceland in order to apply for asylum.

First Published: Thursday, June 20, 2013 09:16 AM
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