The U.S. government has asked the Irish government to detain NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden during a potential stopover on his way to Cuba, according to Irish Times.
It appears to get from Moscow to Havanna, Snowden’s flight would have to stop to refuel in Shannon, in southwest Ireland.
The provisional arrest warrant issued by U.S. authorities would allow the Garda’s crime and security branch to arrest Snowden under the Extradiction Act of 1965.
If he is arrested he would be brought before a District Court. A judge could rule to detain him for up to 18 days, during which time the U.S. could institute a full extradition process.
The U.S. charged the 30-year-old with theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information, and willful communication of classified communications intelligence to an unauthorized person; two of the charges fall under the Espionage Act.
Snowden is reportedly still in the transit lounge of the Moscow airport, unable to enter Russia because he has no passport or visa.
U.S. officials believe he could travel on a commercial Aeroflot flight from Moscow to Havana, but security sources in Ireland told The Irish Times that route was unlikely.
“We would think he’ll stay in Russia for at least a while but the papers are with us now so the option of using Shannon to get to Cuba is probably out for him,” one source said.
Snowden reportedly attempted to gain asylum from Ireland, as well as many other countries. Ireland does allow any application for asylum unless the person is already in the country.
Wednesday Bolivian President Evo Morales’ plane was denied permission to fly over certain European countries because Snowden was suspected to be on board.