00:01 GMT30 October 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - An American lawyer to Viktor Bout and Konstantin Yaroshenko said that he had joined a team providing legal defense to Oleg Nikitin, another Russian national detained in the United States for conspiring to evade trade sanctions.

    "I’ll be one of his lawyers. We have set up the defense team," Alexey Tarasov said. The lawyer added that he had already met with his client who denies any wrongdoing.

    Among Tarasov’s clients are Bout, who is serving 25 years for allegedly agreeing to supply weapons to Colombian rebels, and Russian pilot Yaroshenko. The latter was captured by US agents in Liberia and sentenced to 20 years on charges of conspiring to import drugs, which he has denied.

    The US Department of Justice said in a press release on Tuesday that Nikitin and his Russian-based company KS Engineering together with another Russian citizen, two Italian nationals and an American had been charged with conspiring to evade trade sanctions.

    Nikitin faces up to 45 years in prison and a $1.75 million penalty on charges of violating trade sanctions, conspiring to violate trade sanctions and to defraud the United States, and conspiring to commit wire fraud and launder monetary instruments, the release said.

    According to Russian diplomats, who are in a contact with Nikitin, he is held in solitary confinement in the US state of Georgia.


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