The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is trying to help intelligence agency whistleblower Edward Snowden follow in his footsteps and claim asylum amid fears the latter will be extradited to America over his leaking of sensitive data.
Speaking from the Ecuadorean embassy in west London, where he himself has been granted asylum, Mr Assange said he is trying to broker a deal which would see Mr Snowden brought to safety. Mr Snowden fled to Hong Kong prior to the revelations being made public in two newspaper earlier this month.
"We are in touch with Mr Snowden's legal team and have been, are involved, in the process of brokering his asylum in Iceland," Mr Assange told journalists in a conference call. However, Mr Snowden, 29, would need to be in Iceland in order to make an asylum claim, according to the Icelandic Prime Minister. Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson added that "informal discussions" have been held with an intermediary, believed to be WikiLeaks spokesman and Icelandic national Kristinn Hrafnsson.
Mr Snowden, whose data leaks were reported by the Guardian and Washington Post newspapers, has said in the past: "The US government, just as they did with other whistleblowers, immediately and predictably destroyed any possibility of a fair trial at home, openly declaring me guilty of treason."