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MOSCOW, May 13 (Itar-Tass) - Moscow’s Khamovniki District Court will start hearing a one million dollar suit against the REN TV channel for protection of honour and dignity filed by Russian citizen Viktor Bout, who has been convicted in the United States.
“The court took cognizance of Bout’s claim against the REN TV channel, today the pre-trial procedure will take place,” the court’s spokesperson, Darya Lyakh, told Itar-Tass.
Bout filed the suit following the film “The Russian Mafia Abroad” where he was portrayed as an “arms baron”. In his lawsuit he asked the court to make the television channel to refute this information.
Viktor Bout was arrested in Bangkok in March 2008 on the request of the United States and handed over to the U.S. authorities in November 2010. In 2011 he was convicted by a New York federal court of conspiracy to supply arms to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC), which the U.S. government lists as a terrorist organization. In April 2012 he was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Bout’s lawyers insist that their defendant had no plans to sell arms to the FARC and to kill Americans. They said he was in Bangkok to discuss selling two cargo planes.
Russia has repeatedly said Bout’s transfer from Bangkok to the U.S. was unlawful and was carried out without court rulings. The Russian Foreign Ministry continues to insist on Bout’s extradition.
The prison in Marion, Illinois, where Bout is serving his term, is located 500 kilometres south of Chicago, and is designed to accommodate 1,000 inmates.