12:41 GMT05 August 2021
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    Danish authorities gave the US permission to use Copenhagen Airport for a rendition flight to Moscow, Danish investigative website Denfri.dk reported.

    The US was granted permission to land a rendition plane at Copenhagen airport after it had been sent to a Moscow airport to arrest Edward Snowden, Danish investigative website Denfri.dk has revealed.

    In June 2014 UK technology news website The Register reported that on June 24, 2013 an unmarked Gulfstream V business jet with tail number N977GA set off from Manassas Regional Airport.

    Overflying and landing permission
    © Photo : denfri.dk
    Overflying and landing permission

    The airfield is located 30 miles from Washington DC and claims to "cater to clients  by offering the personal accommodations and amenities you can't find at commercial airports," investigative journalist Duncan Campbell reported.

    "The plane showed up on our system at 5:20 on June 25," a member of an aviation enthusiasts' internet aircraft-tracking network in the UK told Campbell.

    "We knew the reputation of this aircraft and what it had done in the past," the source said.

    "The online tracking information reveals that the Gulfstream did not make it all the way to Moscow, but set down and waited at Copenhagen Airport," Campbell wrote.

    In August 2015 Danish investigative website Denfri.dk requested documents from Denmark's Ministry of Justice regarding requests from the US government to Denmark and other countries that they arrest and extradite Snowden if he set foot in their country.  

    © Photo : denfri.dk

    Denmark's Ministry of Justice denied access to many of the documents sought by Denfri.dk, and heavily redacted much of the information. 

    However, Denfri.dk was able to confirm that the US was granted permission to fly over and land on Danish territory by aircraft N877GA. 

    The documents also confirmed that the aircraft used Danish airspace and landed at Copenhagen airport.

    'US sends aircraft to Denmark to catch Snowden,' Denfri reported.

    ​Denfri.dk decided to investigate after the Norwegian media published a letter, dated June 27 2013, from the US Department of Justice to authorities in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland, asking their police to arrest Snowden if he boarded a flight from Moscow to one of their countries.

    On June 23 Snowden boarded a flight to Moscow after having spent several weeks in Hong Kong, during which US prosecutors charged him with theft and two counts of violating the Espionage Act because he had leaked information about numerous global surveillance programs by US and UK intelligence agencies.

    Snowden was eventually granted temporary asylum in Russia on August 1, 2013 after spending several weeks stranded in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport.


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