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Moscow says ruling of New York court on Bout confirms politicized nature of case

October 27, 2015, 11:54 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The federal court of New York's southern district on Monday rejected a petition to reconsider the case of the Russian citizen Viktor Bout
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© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

MOSCOW, October 27. /TASS/. The refusal of a court in New York to review the case of Russian citizen Viktor Bout confirms the politicized nature of the trial, Russian Foreign Ministry’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law Konstantin Dolgov told TASS on Tuesday.

"This is another regrettable decision," he said. "As far as we knew, the lawyers prepared solid evidence for raising the issue of reviewing the case, they had strong arguments. The fact that the court did not heed them again, of course, only confirms our understanding that Viktor Bout’s case was originally politicized by the American side."

The diplomat noted that the court’s refusal confirmed that "the American justice was extremely selective with regard to Russian citizens." He added that this also applied to other Russian nationals who were already serving their sentences in the United States or whose extradition Washington was seeking from third countries exerting pressure on their governments. "Here, of course, an unacceptable political nature may be traced," he said.

Dolgov noted that the issue of the fate of Viktor Bout, Konstantin Yaroshenko and other Russian citizens who found themselves in a similar situation, was constantly raised by the Russian side during contacts with U.S. partners at various levels. "We will continue to do so, we will seek the observance of legitimate rights and interests of our citizens, support the work of the team of lawyers to ensure the revision of sentences in these politicized cases and to relieve the plight of our citizens," he said. We will seek adequate compliance with their procedural rights so that they are treated in accordance with international standards."

Viktor Bout was arrested in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2008 and later extradited to the United States. In April 2012 he was sentenced to 25 years in prison and a $15-million fine. He is serving his prison sentence in the United States Penitentiary Marion in Illinois.

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