The defense team for imprisoned Russian businessman, Viktor Bout, has started work on an appeal to Russian Ministry of Justice requesting his extradition from the U.S. as well as appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court and the International Court of Justice in the Hague, Bout’s lawyer Albert Dayan said.
Under a convention between Russia and the U.S. dating from the 1980’s the Russian Ministry of Justice may request the handing over of Russians sentenced in the U.S. Eric Holder, the current U.S. Attorney General, has said that the U.S. may consider an application for Bout, who has been sentenced to 25 years in jail, to serve his prison term in Russia if they receive the request.
“The appeal to the Justice Ministry is already at work, it will take months to prepare the necessary documents. We simultaneously work on three lengthy legal documents; on the appeal and the claim to International Court of Justice in the Hague,” Dayan said.
Dayan added that the defense team had been extended to manage the volume of work required.
“Victor Bout’s appeal is not a personal letter from a Russian, not just a private request. We are working on a document that will prepare a legal base for the governments of Russia and the United States on his extradition. We are studying precedents, materials, bilateral and international agreements, and conventions. We are preparing arguments for the negotiations between Russia and the United States,” Dayan said.
Dayan also noted that Bout is keeping his spirits up and believes he will return to Russia.
“Viktor Bout continues to believe that the country would stand for him. He works hard and hopes to return home”, the lawyer said.
Bout, a former Soviet Air Force officer who was dubbed the “Merchant of Death” in the United States, has been sentenced to 25 years in a U.S. jail for conspiring to kill U.S. citizens and sell arms to Colombian militants. He maintains his innocence.
On May 11, the U.S. penitentiary authority said Bout would be sent from his Brooklyn jail to a super maximum security prison in Colorado, where convicted terrorists and other dangerous criminals are serving their sentences, often in solitary confinement.