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MOSCOW, April 2 (Itar-Tass) — Demanding a life imprisonment for Russian businessman Viktor Bout, American justice is creating a precedent, Russian lawmaker Alexei Pushkov said in his Twitter blog.
“Bout, who is Russian citizen, is facing a life sentence. The United States is creating a precedent,” wrote Pushkov, who heads the international committee in the Russian State Duma lower parliament house. He also suggested that American citizens should be tried in Russia for their crimes committed on the Russian territory. “From now on they will not be extradited to the United States,” he stressed.
A prompt reaction to Pushkov’s words came from the U.S. embassy in Moscow. The embassy said that this is how the United States’ independent court system works. The prosecution recommended a life imprisonment and now it is up to an independent judge to pronounce the verdict. The embassy also said it is too early to provide any comments on the situation.
The prosecution has asked the New York court to sentence Bout, who last November was found guilty of an arms smuggling conspiracy, to life imprisonment. The sentence is to be pronounced on April 5. Bout, 45, is faced with a 25-year term to life imprisonment. He pleads innocence.