Bolivia's Morales home after trip delayed by Snowden affair

LA PAZ (AFP) - Bolivian President Evo Morales arrived home late Wednesday after a flight interrupted by an unscheduled stopover caused by suspicions US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden was travelling with him.

His plane touched down near La Paz almost 17 hours after leaving Vienna, an AFP reporter observed. It had to land there after several European nations denied it overfly rights as Morales flew back from Moscow.

Morales had been in Moscow attending an energy conference, and while there said he was willing to study an asylum request from Snowden. Bolivia is one of more than 20 countries Snowden had asked for safe haven.

France, Italy, Spain and Portugal initially denied him the right to go through their air space amid concerns Snowden was on his plane.

Bolivia insisted he was not, which Austrian officials confirmed after they were allowed to search the plane.

After the European countries lifted their objections, Morales travelled home via Spain and Brazil, where it made refuelling stops.

Bolivia has likened the way its president was treated to a kidnapping.

Other Latin American countries have also expressed outrage and protesters in the streets of the La Paz burned French flags on Wednesday.