News / Europe

Austria Did not Search Morales Jet in Vienna, President Says

An interpreter listens as Bolivian President Evo Morales talks with Austrian President Heinz Fischer (L-R) during a news conference at the Vienna International Airport in Schwechat, Austria, July 3, 2013.
An interpreter listens as Bolivian President Evo Morales talks with Austrian President Heinz Fischer (L-R) during a news conference at the Vienna International Airport in Schwechat, Austria, July 3, 2013.
Reuters
Austrian officials did not search Bolivia's presidential jet for fugitive U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, Austria's president said, seeking to defuse a diplomatic tussle over the incident.
    
One airport officer did board the aircraft on Tuesday to find out why it had landed in Vienna reporting technical problems, but "there was no formal inspection," Austrian President Heinz Fischer told Kurier newspaper.
    
Fischer's comments, published on Sunday, appeared aimed at untangling contradictory accounts of how Bolivian President Evo Morales was treated as he flew home from a conference in Moscow last week.
    
Bolivia protested after several European countries refused to allow the aircraft to pass through their airspace, amid speculation Morales was taking Snowden to Latin America.
    
Diplomatic tensions heightened after the plane landed in Vienna and Austrian officials initially said they got official permission to inspect the aircraft for Snowden, who is wanted for leaking details of U.S. surveillance programs. Bolivia insisted no such inspection took place.
    
"Someone from the airport staff sought out the aircraft or the pilot after landing to inquire about the nature of the technical problem," Fischer was quoted as saying.
    
"The Austrian official was advised that the defect was already fixed, and saw on this occasion that the plane was empty... He did not look under the seats. There was no formal inspection, but no other people were found on board," Fischer added.
    
Pressed on whether that meant Austrians had not searched the plane, he said, "There was no search in the forensic sense. There was also no reason to under international law. The plane of a president belongs to 'his territory' and cannot be searched readily."
    
Snowden is believed to be still holed up in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo international airport and has been trying to find a country that would give him sanctuary since he landed there from Hong Kong on June 23.
    
Bolivia on Saturday formally offered Snowden asylum, joining leftist allies Venezuela and Nicaragua in defiance of Washington.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More