RUSSIA SAYS BOUT'S U.S. SENTENCE FOR ARMS TRADE "BIASED"
- Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Friday, April 6 it will take all efforts necessary to repatriate convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout after a U.S. court sentenced him to 25 years in prison, RIA Novosti reported.
"In spite of the unreliability of the evidence, the illegal character of his arrest involving the participation of U.S. special service agents in Thailand and the subsequent extradition, American legal officials, having carried out a political order, ignored the arguments of lawyers and numerous appeals from all levels in defense of this Russian citizen," Russian Foreign ministry said.
"Long before the sentence was given to Bout, the authorities declared him the 'Merchant of Death' and almost an international terrorist, but this accusation was based exclusively on his imputed 'criminal intent,' the Ministry added.
"From there, an attempt was made to force him to admit his guilt by creating unbearable conditions for detention, by both physical and psychological means. The absolutely unacceptable campaign by the American media was aimed at influencing the jury and the judicial process in the 'right direction.' "
The 25-year prison sentence for Bout is absolutely inadmissible and biased, the Russian Foreign Ministry's Human Rights Spokesman, Konstantin Dolgov said on Friday.
Douglas McNabb, a Transnational criminal defense lawyer told RIA Novosti Russia may push for the annulment of Bout's extradition from Thailand to the United States.
Other lawyers also criticized Bout's trial. "I think he (Bout) was railroaded all the way", said Russell Mace, a criminal defense lawyer who has been defending individuals and companies in federal court throughout the United States for many years. He also pointed out some drawbacks in the Bout's defense. "I cannot believe no defense witnesses were called and in my opinion there should have been a rather extensive defense", he said.
- 1841 Creation of the anti-gentry "Miakam" Association in Constantinople.
- 1869 Birth of Levon Shant (writer, public figure). He died in 1951.
- 1964 The Kiev-Tbilisi-Baku-Yerevan friendship celebrated in Yerevan.