ASTANA, April 6 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia will seek for Viktor Bout’s extradition to the homeland, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said here on Friday.
“We want not to take revenge, but to help Viktor Bout, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison groundlessly, no matter how they treat him and what he was suspected of,” the minister pointed out. “I even do not mention how he was trapped and actually illegally brought to the United States,” Lavrov added. “Even when Thailand changed its decision to deny extradition, even when the extradition took place with violation of the procedural rules,” he said.
“We intend to be guided not by the plans to take revenge, but by the intentions to provide for the rights of our compatriot to be observed and respected. We will actively support an appeal, which Bout’s lawyers are planning to file, and in any case we will seek for his transfer to the homeland,” the minister underlined. “We have legal instruments for this purpose in the relations with the US,” Lavrov said.
“Bout was described to the judges and the jury as a criminal, a terrorist in advance and his criminal case was considered to be predetermined, and certainly this factor affected the trial. Although even in this atmosphere in several episodes the judge really doubted whether the prosecutor acts correctly,” Lavrov underlined.