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MOSCOW, July 30. (Itar-Tass) - Russia’s Justice Ministry plans to file another request for extradition of businessman Viktor Bout and cargo pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, convicted in the United States after courts review of the appeal procedures, the ministry’s press service told Itar-Tass.
“Russia’s Ministry of Justice continues to look into extradition of Bout and Yaroshenko to Russia in order to serve their sentence here. New requests by Russia’s Ministry of Justice with American counterparts regarding extradition of Russian citizens will be filed after the appeal process in American courts,” the Ministry emphasized. Ministry of Justice representative explained that there is no need for Bout and Yaroshenko to express their agreement to the extradition in order to file another request. “At the same time, the convicts can reconsider extradition at any point of time before the issue is finalized”, the spokesperson clarified.
Bout, found guilty in November 2010 of arms smuggling conspiracy, has been sentenced by a New York court to 25 years in prison. He was arrested in Bangkok in March 2008 at a U.S. request and extradited to the U.S. in November 2010. He has been charged with masterminding the sale of a large shipment of arms. Four charges were brought against him: criminal conspiracy to kill US nationals, conspiracy to kill officials in public service, criminal conspiracy to purchase and sell antiaircraft missiles and criminal conspiracy to supply weapons to terrorist groups. The Russian citizen pleaded not guilty on all the points.
Yaroshenko was arrested in the Liberian capital Monrovia in May 2010, after which he was secretly brought to the United States. He pleaded not guilty.
With NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden stranded in Moscow, suggestions were made to use the situation as leverage and exchange the American fugitive for Russian citizens - however, this scenario was deemed impossible by experts, including Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena.