Denmark admits the US sent a rendition plane to capture Edward Snowden

Danish officials denied the reports as recently as Wednesday

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The Independent Online

Denmark’s Justice Minister has admitted that the US sent a rendition flight to Copenhagen Airport to capture whistleblower Edward Snowden. 

Justice Minister Søren Pind told the Danish parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee the US was granted permission to use Danish airspace and land a plane at Copenhagen Airport to transport Edward Snowden to America.

“The purpose of the plane’s presence at Copenhagen Airport was apparently to have the ability to transport Edward Snowden to the USA in case he was delivered from Russia or another country,” Mr Pind said in a written statement seen by the Local

Claims that the US landed a rendition plane in Copenhagen in June 2013 were first reported last month by Danish online media Denfri

Danish officials initially denied the reports and as recently as Wednesday, Mr Pind said that he “wasn’t aware of the purpose of the aircraft in question,” according to the local.

Mr Snowden has tweeted about the incident, saying it "seems to confirm Denmark intended to violate principle of non-refoulement as I sought asylum".

Mr Snowden is a former employee of the NSA and handed over classified US documents, detailing the extent of electronic surveillance by the CIA, to journalists. 

The whistleblower has been granted temporary asylum in Russia, which can be extended indefinitely on an annual basis.