Only Bolivians aboard Morales plane in Vienna: Austria

VIENNA Wed Jul 3, 2013 5:50am EDT

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VIENNA (Reuters) - No unauthorized people were found on board Bolivian President Evo Morales' government plane at Vienna airport when Austrian authorities carried out a voluntary inspection, Deputy Chancellor Michael Spindelegger said on Wednesday.

The plane was forced to land in Austria after France and Portugal abruptly canceled air permits for it while en route from Moscow on Tuesday, apparently due to fears fugitive ex-U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden could be on board.

Bolivian and Austrian officials denied this.

"Morales agreed to a voluntary inspection," Spindelegger told reporters at the airport.

"Our colleagues from the airport had a look and can give assurances that no one is on board who is not a Bolivian citizen," Spindelegger added, saying rumors that Snowden might be on board were untrue.

Bolivia's ambassador to the United Nations told reporters in Geneva on Wednesday Austria's decision to search the plane was an act of aggression and a violation of international law.

(Reporting by Angelika Gruber; Writing by Michael Shields; Editing by Alison Williams)

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Comments (1)
FireBlade wrote:
An incredibly ludicrous move on the Austrian, French and Portuguese part. Forcefully detaining and searching a diplomatic aircraft is unheard of.

Austria has stepped into the unknown world – the world of international scandals. For over 200 years they sat quietly but all of a sudden decided to “take action”. Portugal is desperately trying to be somehow mentioned in the news lines. France… well, they always “collaborate”, don’t they? A move worthy of the memory of President P├ętain.

I can’t imagine worse indignity for a country than to be ordered around like an obedient puppy. Austria, FETCH! PORTUGAL, SIT! FRANCE, DINNER! What an incredible disgrace!

Jul 03, 2013 6:21am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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