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Businessman Bout jailed in US hopes for Russian government assisstance

November 22, 2016, 13:00 UTC+3 MOSCOW

According to Viktor Bout, the US will "never confess to anything until there is a political will"

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Viktor Bout

Viktor Bout

© Courtesy of Alla Bout family archive/TASS

MOSCOW, November 22. /TASS/. Russian citizen Viktor Bout, who is serving a 25-year prison term in the United States on arms smuggling charges, told TASS that he expects the Russian government to take "particular steps" to solve the case.

"There can be only a political decision," Bout said in a phone conversation with a TASS correspondent.

"Until there is political will, they (the US) will fight tooth and nail, and will never confess to anything," Bout said. "I expect that our government will take some particular steps."

"Whatever facts we give, they will be presented in a way that is beneficial for them, they will try to reshuffle them so that they don’t lose face," he said.

"A year and a half ago, the Russian government proposed that an international tribunal sort out this quagmire, not to mention that President-elect Donald Trump promised to drain this swamp," Bout recalled.

"It is useless to prove something in this Court of Appeals," he said, adding that no decision was reviewed there over the past 15-20 years. "Everything that is brought there by prosecutors is gleefully rubber-stamped by the court."

"We will use all legal possibilities, everything that we have, we will fight our way," Bout stressed. "But you can definitely say that this system is a foul cesspool. What can you expect from it other than clammy laughter and these murky, underhanded deeds?"

On Monday, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York denied Bout a retrial, upholding the ruling passed by a district court against retrying the case. The Court of Appeals ruled that the new materials in Bout’s case provided by the counsel for the defense were not newly discovered evidence.

How would US Supreme Court decide?

Speaking about his chances that the US Supreme Court could hear the case, Bout said: "It’s like winning a lottery, say for an apartment in Moscow. Yes, there is a chance, we will appeal there, but it will simply refuse to consider it. They won’t even read all this stuff." "If now a truly sovereign US president comes to power, who will be able to make decisions independently, this would be a completely different case," he explained. "Possibly, big politics will find its way and this issue will be solved, as this is indeed one of the stumbling blocks in the way for establishing normal relations."

The businessman also said that the US special services tried to urge him to cooperate. "Their favorite gimmick in their bag of tricks is to convince everyone to cooperate, there were such attempts," he said. "Unfortunately, the days when the US special services acted professionally have long passed. The only thing they know how to do is fabricate crimes to show that they are apparently working. They do not carry out any real operations from scratch, they plant informants in every nook and cranny to cook up sting operations."

Bout was detained in 2008 in Bangkok, Thailand, on the basis of a warrant issued by a local court at the request of the US. He was charged with illegal shipment of weapons to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a rebel group designated as a terrorist organization by the United States. In 2010, Bout was extradited to the US. In April 2012, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison and received a $15 million fine.

The Russian national is serving his sentence in the United States Penitentiary, Marion, some 500 kilometers south of Chicago.

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