Documents confirm rendition flight used Copenhagen Airport for mission to capture Edward Snowden

Justice Ministry documents were heavily redacted, but confirm landing

Snowden was confined to Moscow Airport at the time (photo: Laura Poitras/Praxis Films) Snowden was confined to Moscow Airport at the time (photo: Laura Poitras/Praxis Films)
January 25th, 2016 10:51 am| by Philip Tees
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The online media source Denfri.dk reports that, after gaining access to documents from the Justice Ministry, it has confirmed that in June 2013 Copenhagen Airport was used to hold an American rendition plane that was sent to capture Edward Snowden from Moscow Airport and return him to the USA.

Snowden, who shot into the international limelight after making extensive revelations about the USA’s intelligence activities at home and abroad, was confined to the airport in Russia before he was offered asylum in the country.

READ MORE: Rasmussen rules out offering asylum to Snowden

Mysterious plane
The story of a Gulfstream private aircraft with registration number N977GA on a course towards Russia being seen by plane spotters in Scotland but coming no further than Denmark was reported in the summer of 2014.

In August last year Denfri.dk applied for access to documents concerning an alleged arrangement for the Danish authorities to arrest and extradite Snowden if he set foot in the country and details of the mysterious plane that was reported to have used Copenhagen Airport.

Access to many of the documents sought was denied and much of the information was heavily redacted.

“Denmark’s relationship with the USA would be damaged if the information becomes public knowledge,” the Justice Ministry wrote in its reply.

The documents do, however, confirm that the Gulfstream aircraft used Danish airspace and landed at Kastrup. An overflying and landing permission for a “USA state flight” is included, as is email correspondence around the time of the landing from senior staff at the police and Justice Ministry concerning the landing.