But the cat-and-mouse game continued, with the US’ most wanted man, outwitting his pursuers yet again as he tried to evade prosecution.
Although airport sources had said Snowden was booked into seat 17A, someone else was sitting there as the plane took off. “He’s not on board,” said a flight attendant.
A source at Aeroflot said the same thing. With not much else to do, journalists sent pictures of the empty seat from their mobile phones.
A Twitter feed, @Snowdensseat, was soon set up in the name of seat 17A with messages such as: “Getting a lot of angry looks from journalists around me. Deadlines probably looming.