MOSCOW, November 3 (Itar-Tass) —— The Russian State Duma believes that a verdict passed by the U.S. jury court to Russian citizen Viktor Bout might have a biased character and be "a political order."
Leonid Slutsky, First Deputy Chairman of the Duma committee on international affairs, believes the verdict was passed in the spirit "of a typical U.S. propaganda." "Bout was made to look like a villain, a negative character who brings evil which stems from Russia," Slutsky said. The whole story has a definite touch of a biased approach, he said. Slutsky is confident that Russia should continue to struggle for him and not give in. "Neither the state nor his family will leave him in trouble," Slutsky stressed.
Deputy Chief of the Duma committee on international affairs, Leonid Kalashnikov, said that Bout’s extradition from Thailand to the United States and keeping him in the U.S. custody did not stand up to any criticism. Kalashnikov urged the Russian authorities to struggle for Bout’s extradition to Russia where he should serve his prison term. In the long run, sooner or later he will be exchanged into someone of interest to the West, Kalashnikov said.
"A criminal case against Bout and the jury court verdict are one and the same political order. The accusations against Bout are utter nonsense," said Deputy Chairman of the committee on international affairs Andrei Klimov. "Judging by the practice of U.S. judicial bodies one cannot even hypotetically whisper to one's own wife in the kitchen what might jeopardize the U.S. interests, which is precisely the reason why they want to imprison Bout for 25 years," Klimov said.
A draft bill has been submitted to the State Duma which authorizes members of the Russian Federal Assembly to appeal to the Russian government, demanding to impose sanctions against foreign citizens who infringe on the rights of Russian citizens, Klimov said. He is one he authors of the proposed bill. However, the present Duma, which is to meet in its last session on November 23, believes the present Duma is not likely to pass the bill, Klimov said.
A jury in federal court in Manhattan convicted Bout on Wednesday on all the counts of a criminal charge against him. The U.S. jury court proclaimed Bout guilty of a conspiracy with the aim of assessing US citizens and US official representatives, of selling heavy weaponry to a terror group "The revolutionary forces of Colombia" and helping the Colombian government. Bout could face life in prison at his sentencing, which was scheduled for Feb. 8.