A furious Bolivian government accused Austria of “kidnapping” President Evo Morales after authorities on Wednesday boldly searched his plane, accusing him of hiding U.S. fugitive and NSA information leaker Edward Snowden.
A Bolivian diplomat also weaved America into the picture, alleging that Austrian authorities were acting at the order of the United States, Reuters reported.
“We’re talking about the president on an official trip after an official summit being kidnapped,” Bolivia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Sacha Llorenti Soliz, said.
The incident occurred during a stopover in Vienna. Mr. Morales’ plane was flying home from a conference in Moscow but had to land in Vienna for several hours, following a dispute with Portugal and France. Those two countries refused to grant Mr. Morales’ plane the authority to use its airspace for several hours, Reuters said.
Mr. Snowden is still thought to be in the transit hub at a Moscow airport. But the search for his whereabouts has taken on a sort of “Where’s Waldo?” quality, with media outlets updating by the hour the many countries that have turned down his requests for asylum — more than 20 so far — compared with the number of nations that are still undecided.
Mr. Snowden faces espionage charges for leaking sensitive National Security Agency information if he returns to the United States.
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