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Diplomat says Russia to continue efforts to return Viktor Bout home

April 12, 17:49 UTC+3 MOSCOW

There are no legal means left to defend Russian national Viktor Bout within the US legal system, Maria Zakharova says

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MOSCOW, April 12. /TASS/. There are no legal means left to defend Russian national Viktor Bout within the US legal system but the Russian Foreign Ministry will continue to provide him with consular and legal assistance seeking to return him home, the ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.

She pointed out that on April 3, the United States Supreme Court had rejected to grant certiorari on the case of Bout, who is serving a 25-year prison term in the United States on arms smuggling charges. "The Court did not provide any reasons for making this decision," the Russian diplomat noted. "The Russian’s attorneys proved that the appeals court and the District Court for the Southern District of New York had applied wrong legal criteria to assess the facts pointing to the prosecutor’s office keeping exculpatory evidence from the defense attorney."

"The decision made by the US Supreme Court actually completes the appeal procedure, so there are no legal means left to Viktor Bout within the US legal system," Zakharova stressed. "The Russian Foreign Ministry will continue to defend the rights of the Russian national, keep an eye on this situation and provide him with consular and legal assistance seeking to return him home as soon as possible."

Bout case

Bout was detained in the Thailand’s capital of Bangkok in 2008 on a warrant issued by a local court at Washington’s request. He was charged with conspiracy to deliver weapons to a group calling itself the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, deemed terrorist by the US. In 2010, Bout was extradited to the United States. In April 2012, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison and a fine of $15 million.

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