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Bout's lawyer not ask for extradition, but to seek acquittal

April 06, 2012, 10:40 UTC+3
Meanwhile, the lawyer noted that there are some chances to win the case
1 pages in this article
Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, April 6 (Itar-Tass) —— The lawyer of Russian citizen Viktor Bout, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison in the United States, does not plan to seek his extradition to Russia and hopes for the review of the guilty verdict, Bout’s lawyer Viktor Burobin told Itar-Tass on Friday.

“We do not ask for his extradition (to serve the sentence in Russia),” he noted.

Burobin noted that the lawyers consider the verdict lawful and intends to appeal it in the court of appeal, and if this fails, in the US Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, the lawyer noted that there are some chances to win the case. “25 years in prison is certainly a long term, but in this concrete case is minimal. The judge could have sentenced him to life in prison. But for the verdict of the jury, the acquittal verdict would have been passed,” Burobin believes.

The appeal of the verdict will take several years, as “this is a very long procedure,” he said. “But the most important thing is that Bout intends to defend himself further. He called me up and had an optimistic voice. So, we will fight further,” the lawyer concluded.

The Federal Court of the Southern District in New York sentenced Russian businessman Viktor Bout to 25 years in prison. He was found guilty of major weapon sale to Colombian militants, which the US considers as a terrorist group, in November 2011.

The verdict to Viktor Bout is absolutely unacceptable, biased and unfair, Russian Foreign Ministry’s commissioner for human rights, democracy and supremacy of law Konstantin Dolgov said on Friday in comments on the verdict of the Federal Court of the Southern District of New York, which sentenced Bout to 25 years in prison.

“It is even more unacceptable that this is already not the first politically biased verdict that is not substantiated by evidence, and not the first case of violation of the legitimate rights and interests of Russian citizens by US authorities,” the diplomat underlined.

The Viktor Bout case remains among Russian priorities on the Russian-US agenda, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday in comments of the verdict of the Federal Court of the Southern District of New York, which sentenced Bout to 25 years in prison.

“The Russian Foreign Ministry takes the verdict of the US court, which sentenced Viktor Bout to 25 years in prison, as ungrounded and biased,” the statement runs. “Despite the insubstantial evidence and the illegal grounds of his arrest by US secret agents in Thailand and further extradition to the United States, the US legal authorities, which fulfil an obvious political contract, neglected the arguments of lawyers and numerous addresses at various levels in defence of the Russian citizen,” the statement said.

“We should state again that Bout was declared as the Merchant of Death by the US authorities long before the verdict and even nearly an international terrorist, and the indictment was based only on ‘criminal intentions’ attributed to him,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in the statement. “Therefore, the attempts were made to beat the confession out of Bout through unbearable conditions of custody, physical and psychological pressure. The manhunt unleashed in the US media is absolutely unacceptable, as this campaign was seeking to exert influence on the jury and the trial in general in ‘the necessary direction’,” the statement runs.

“Russia will take all necessary efforts to bring Viktor Bout back to the homeland, using all available international and legal instruments. This issue certainly remains among our priorities on the Russian-US agenda,” the Russian Foreign Ministry pledged

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