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  • Evo Morales waves during the emergency landing at the Vienna International Airport, Austria, July 2013.

    Evo Morales waves during the emergency landing at the Vienna International Airport, Austria, July 2013. | Photo: EFE

Published 13 April 2015

The Bolivian ambassador to Russia asked Julian Assange to apologize to the president for having put his life at risk in July 2013.

The Bolivian Ambassador to Russia, Maria Luisa Ramos, directly defied WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange by publicly asking him whether he apologized to President Morales for putting his life at risk by leaking false information that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was on his plane in July 2013.

“Have you apologized to Morales?” Ramos asked Assange during a video conference Monday, during the premier of the documentary “Terminal F” about Snowden's search for exile.

In July 2013, the Morales' presidential plane made an emergency landing in Austria after being denied permission to fly over France and Portugal due to rumors that Snowden was with him en route to asylum in Bolivia.

In the documentary, Assange reveals that the rumors that Snowden was traveling with Morales were false and that they were intentionally provided to the United States. He added that various “special measures” had been taken to distract the attention of secret services.

In response to this information, Ramos questioned Assange's methods and suggested that Morales' life was put at risk without the president's consent.

"It is possible that in this wide-ranging game that you began my president did not play a crucial role, but what you did was not important to my president, but it was to me and the citizens of our country. And I have faith that when you planned this game you took into consideration the consequences,” she told Assange.

Ramos added that Bolivia was willing to help Snowden, “but legally,” confirming that the Latin American country wanted to grand Snowden asylum.

However, she demanded Assange to clarify how he dared to put Morales' life at risk.

"For your big countries this may not be important, but for Bolivia it does matter. We would have never violated the law and I have no idea who would dare to risk the life of the president to confuse the United States officials,” she said, reiterating her question: “Have you apologized to Morales for this issue?”

Assange responded that, “Edward Snowden could have been on board the Bolivian president's airplane because it is considered a diplomatic plane. In order to deny a plane the use of airspace, there have to be good reasons.”

The WikiLeaks founder went into detail saying that various options were taken into consideration and insisted that the aim was to distract the attention of U.S.' National Security Agency (NSA).

He admitted that the plan “was not completely honest, but we did consider that the final result would have justified our actions.” Assange also confessed the outcome of his actions were never expected, but insisted Washington was responsible for the plane's emergency landing.

“We weren't expecting this outcome. The result was caused by the United States' intervention. We can only regret what happened,” Assange concluded.

Julian Assange has been exiled at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, while Snowden is still exiled in Russia.


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