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Viktor Bout’s lawyer appeals verdict

January 31, 2013, 4:07 UTC+3
Bout has been sentenced by a New York court to 25 years in prison
1 pages in this article

NEW YORK, January 30 (Itar-Tass) – Albert Dayan, the American lawyer of Russian businessman Viktor Bout, who has been sentenced in the United States for arms smuggling, presented to the federal court of appeals in New York a 55-page document, containing facts Bout is not guilty.

This is the lawyer’s third request to the court of appeals. In early January, Dayan submitted a request for a new three-month postponement in filing an appeal due to a large amount of documents in the case. The verbatim report of court hearings alone takes more than 1,700 pages. There are also many audio recordings added to the case. Another difficulty in preparing an appeal, according to the lawyer, is that Bout is serving his 25-year term in the Marion prison in Illinois and practically cannot communicate with him.

Also, the Russian government pays much attention to the Bout case and Dayan has to travel to Russia to inform government officials and Bout’s family of the appeal proceedings.

The initial deadline for filing an appeal was November 12, 2012. However in August of last year the court agreed to postpone it for three months.

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.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said it would press for Bout's return to Russia. Moscow believes that the evidence collected against Bout “is too thin to make far-reaching accusations”. The Foreign Ministry thinks that a situation where Russian citizens fall victim to U.S. justice on the basis of broad interpretation of law is unacceptable.

Bout is convinced that his case “is anti-Russian”. “My case is purely political. Despite the American procedures the Russian public knows the truth. My case shows the real condition of the American justice system of a police state close to dictatorship,” Bout said.

 

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