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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Viktor Bout Extradition drama May end by the end of March

Viktor Bout hit the press again. He has been held in Thailand. The US is trying to extradite him to stand trial for trying to sell stingers to the FARC.

The Thia Judge says that the extradition trial should close out this month, but that his decision will impact Thai relations with either Russia or the US.

-Shimron

The Russian businessman, Viktor Bout, who allegedly armed dictators around the world, described himself as the hapless victim enduring “extremely inhumane” conditions in a Thai prison. Viktor also accused the United States on Friday of framing him and pressuring Thailand to extradite him to face terrorism-related charges. He was arrested in March 2008 during a sting operation in Thailand in which undercover U.S. agents posed as rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known by its Spanish acronym, FARC.


“What about human rights? What about presumption of innocence? What about rule of law?” Bout, 41, yelled waving his hands and shouting before he was led from a holding cell to a hearing on the extradition request.

Bout’s wife Alla handed out a statement in which her husband complained that the Thai prison was “probably worse than Guantanamo,” the U.S. military prison in Cuba, and said he was arrested “not for committing any crime but as a result of a provocation, or rather a frame-up operation by the U.S. intelligence.”

“This is like medieval times,” she said, speaking through a translator. “At first, I cried. But now I’m used to this atrocity.”

Bout, who has been dubbed the “Merchant of Death” and was the model for the arms dealer portrayed by Nicolas Cage in the 2005 movie “Lord of War,” has been linked to some of Africa’s most notorious conflicts, allegedly supplying arms to former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor and Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

The Rest @ Thailand Hotel Guide

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