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UN: Plane grounding over NSA leaker “unfortunate”

July 9, 2013

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations chief says that the grounding of the Bolivian president’s plane in Vienna on suspicion that NSA leaker Edward Snowden was aboard was “unfortunate” and says “a head of state and his or her aircraft enjoy immunity and inviolability.”

Snowden is believed to be still in hiding at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport where he landed on June 23 after fleeing Hong Kong.

Some European countries refused to allow Bolivian President Evo Morales to fly through their airspace on his way home from Moscow on July 2 because of suspicions that Snowden had boarded his plane.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says “it was important to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.”

His comments were released Tuesday in a statement after he met the ambassadors of Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela to hear their concerns.

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