U.S. officials told suspected Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout that Moscow had sent assassins to Thailand and the United States to kill him, his wife said on Thursday.
"DEA [Drug Enforcement Agency] agents told him Russia had sent killers to Thailand and the United States to eliminate him and so he must not expect Russian help but should cooperate with the investigation and confess to crimes he did not commit," Alla Bout said.
She said she had received the information from the Russian diplomatic officials who visited Viktor Bout at the correctional facility in New York City where he is awaiting trial.
Bout, 43, was extradited to the United States on Tuesday after spending more than two and half years in Thai prisons. He was officially charged in a New York City court on Wednesday. His charges include conspiring to supply arms to terrorist groups and kill U.S. nationals.
The next hearing in the case of the former Russian officer, dubbed the Merchant of Death, will be held on January 10 next year. Bout could face a 25 year sentence if convicted on all four charges against him.
Russia's consul in the United States said earlier on Thursday that U.S. officials tried to force Bout to admit his guilt during the extradition flight from Thailand to the United States.
On Wednesday Alla Bout lashed out at the Russian authorities for allowing the extradition to proceed.
She said Moscow did not do enough to protect her husband and that Russia's foreign policy had failed.
BANGKOK, November 18 (RIA Novosti)