Viktor Bout, who is accused of conspiring to sell weapons to a Colombian terrorist group, lost a second bid to have the charges thrown out.
U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin in Manhattan today rejected Bout’s arguments that the U.S. unfairly targeted him for prosecution and illegally extradited him from Thailand. Last month, Scheindlin rejected Bout’s attempt to have the case dismissed on jurisdictional grounds.
Bout was arrested in 2008 in Bangkok by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents in a sting operation. The government said undercover agents told Bout they were buying weapons for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, including surface-to-air missiles, armor-piercing rocket launchers and machine guns.
Bout, a Russian citizen, argued in court papers that he was “vindictively targeted for prosecution” because the U.S. Defense Department was allegedly embarrassed by reports in 2006 that companies Bout controlled were supplying U.S. armed forces in Iraq.
“I am now looking forward to trial in October, where I’m confident it will become clear that this was a completely DEA- created sting and that Mr. Bout never intended to transport arms to them,” Bout’s lawyer, Albert Dayan said.
The case is U.S. v. Bout, 08-cr-0365, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
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