A lawyer for convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who is awaiting sentencing on April 5, has asked the New York Court to drop the charges against him because of “wrongful prosecution,” RIA Novosti reported.
“The indictment should be dismissed. There is no alternative, for even the minimum of twenty five years is way too much under the facts and circumstances of this case,” Bout’s lawyer Albert Dayan wrote in a letter submitted to the New York District Judge, Shira Scheindlin.
Dayan said Bout’s persecution was “initiated by the National Security Agency or the White House and carried out by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency, for purely political reasons.”
“The entirety of the prosecution of Viktor Bout, from its inception through trial, was the product of outrageous, inexcusable government conduct and he is an innocent of these charges,” the lawyer said.
There has been no official response yet to Dayan’s letter from the U.S. authorities.
Bout, who was convicted of conspiring to kill U.S. officials and citizens, of acquiring and intending to use anti-aircraft missiles and providing support to terrorists, faces from 25 years to life in prison.
He has denied all the charges against him.