Viktor Bout Update: May 16th, 2012…

The US may consider an application to transfer Viktor Bout, sentenced to 25 years in jail, to serve his prison term in Russia should one be received, US Attorney General Eric Holder told Russian reporters.

The US Attorney General granted an interview to a select number of Russian media outlets, namely Itar-Tass news agency, Vesti-24 TV and Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry stated recently that the country will do everything possible to get Bout back .

Earlier this week, the US Bureau of Prisons announced that it was reconsidering its plan to send the Russian businessman to the high-security Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado. Bout’s attorney Albert Dayan said that he was informed about this decision on Tuesday. On the same day, prosecutors notified the judge in a letter that the Bureau of Prisons was re-evaluating where to transfer Viktor Bout from a federal lockup in Brooklyn.

Viktor Bout, a former Soviet military officer, was found guilty of conspiracy to kill US nationals, including military officers and employees, conspiring to use anti-aircraft missiles and selling millions of dollars’ worth of weapons to the Colombian rebel group FARC. He is now serving his 25-year prison term in the US.

Russia has repeatedly condemned Bout’s trial on the grounds that the charges were not connected to any crime, but rather were over alleged criminal intent.The Russian Foreign Ministry has issued a statement that blasted the US trial as politically motivated, adding that it has blacklisted the US officials involved in the case.

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3 thoughts on “Viktor Bout Update: May 16th, 2012…

  1. The problem of extraditing Viktor Bout to Russia can be solved by diplomats alone, Russia’s interim Justice Minister Alexander Konovalov stated on May 17. According to the US Attorney General, Eric Holder, Washington is ready to consider an extradition application if Russia submits one.

    Russia and the US have no bilateral criminal extradition deal, thus, issues of this kind will be solved diplomatically. According to Mr.Konovalov, the transfer can be made only if the US, Russia and Bout himself agree on it.

    As for Russia, it is hundred percent in. So, the parties have protracted consultations ahead.

    According to Eric Holder, the US will begin to consider the application as soon as Russia makes one. It should be prepared by Russia’s Foreign Ministry, says lawyer Alexei Lunyov

    “Russia is represented abroad by the Foreign Ministry and, thus, the latter should submit an extradition application. Whether Bout’s relatives or state officials will ask the Ministry to file an application depends on specific circumstances.”

    Experts think that the Bout case is not over yet. Earlier, Bout’s transfer to a super maximum security prison in Florence, Colorado has been postponed. The transfer had been appealed by his lawyer Albert Dayan. If Russia moves futher in this direction, it may count on more victories, says ex -State Duma MP Kira Lukyanova

    “It’s obviously the lawyers’ win. I think that further concessions are possible but Russia’s government shouldn’t stop and should ask for mitigating Bout’s imprisonment as he is not a terrorist. A court of appeals has a big say in this situation.”

    Russia’s parliament can meet for a special session to discuss the rights of Russian citizens in the US, Member of the Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Andrey Klimov told the VoR.

    On April 5, Russian businessman Viktor Bout was sentenced to 25 years in prison for conspiracy to sell weapons to Colombian rebels. He maintains his innocence.

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