The defense of convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout strongly condemned his prosecution in a letter sent to a U.S. court on the eve of his prison sentence announcement.
“We have called the prosecution of Viktor Bout “outrageous governmental conduct.” That does not go nearly far enough - it’s a disgrace,” Bout’s lawyer Albert Y. Dayan wrote in his letter to Judge Shira A. Scheindlin who presides over the trial.
The U.S. Justice Department has called for a 30-year prison sentence for Bout. In November last year, the jury of the Federal District Court of New York found him guilty of conspiring to kill U.S. officials and citizens, of acquiring and intending to use Russian-made Igla anti-aircraft missiles and providing support to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), considered a terrorist group by the United States.
Bout has denied all the charges against him. In an interview with Voice of Russia Radio on Wednesday, he accused the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) of hypocrisy and double standards, saying that it was wrong to jail a person “just for what he has said, even if he has done no wrong” while many arms dealers in the United States go unpunished.