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Deputy minister says Viktor Bout's case arouses numerous questions

November 03, 2011, 20:54 UTC+3

Moscow's ultimate goal is to attain Bout's return to Russia, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said

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MOSCOW, November 3 (Itar-Tass) —Russian authorities have numerous questions to ask over the case of the Russian businessman Viktor Bout, whom a jury panel in New York City has found guilty of all the four criminal offenses he was initiially charged with, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters Thursday.

Moscow's ultimate goal is to attain Bout's return to Russia, he said.

"As for Viktor Bout, the jurors have found him guilty but the sentence on him will be read out in February 2012, and we believe the issue will be raised at the Honolulu summit November 11 to November 13," Ryabkov said.

"We have a number of questions, really serious questions and we can't agree with the assertions that mere knowledge of a possible use of weaponry under supply against U.S. citizens constitutes a criminal offense," he said.

Ryabkov recalled that Moscow has many questions regarding the manner, in which Bout, who allegedly tried to sell weaponry to undercover agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration passing themselves off as emissaries of the Colombian leftist grouping FARC, was extradited to the U.S. from Thailand.

One more problem is the methods that Bout, a former officer of the Soviet Army, has been subjected to, he said.

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