NEW YORK, June 13. /TASS/. A disciplinary procedure has been initiated against Viktor Bout for giving an interview to a reporter from the RT TV channel, who had no permission to talk to the Russian businessman serving out his sentence in the US, Bout’s attorney Alexei Tarasov told TASS.
"The disciplinary procedure was initiated on May 22," Tarasov added. However, he was hopeful that the authorities would take into account that Bout had no ill will, so he would escape severe punishment.
According to him, Bout’s prison sentence may be extended as punishment, or he may be sent to solitary confinement.
The attorney added that the interview, which took place on May 5, had been approved by the Marion prison’s administration.
He said that the RT channel reporter, during a sanctioned phone interview with Bout, handed the phone over to a colleague. That person was not on the list of individuals to whom the jailed Russian was allowed to communicate.
"This phone conversation was tapped. Naturally, the prison authorities had no idea of who he was talking to," Tarasov said.
"He held the conversation with the employees of the same TV channel," he added. "Naturally, Bout did not choose whom to talk to, they just switched him to another interlocutor. Of course, we think that this cannot serve as a basis for a penalty against him hope that no increased jail term or solitary confinement will be imposed on him."
The issue is still being considered by the prison authorities, the lawyer said, adding that he had no idea of when the final decision will be made.
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.