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    Thai government ordered Bout's extradition in advance - source

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    The Thai government issued final approval for extradition of Russian national Viktor Bout at least a day before it took place, a source in the Thai foreign ministry said.

    The Thai government issued final approval for extradition of Russian national Viktor Bout at least a day before it took place, a source in the Thai foreign ministry said.

    Bout, 43, was extradited to the United States on Tuesday after spending more than two and half years in Thai prisons. Thai media has reported that the decision to extradite Bout was made during a governmental session some three hours before the accused arms dealer was put on a charter flight and flown to New York.

    "The decision to extradite Viktor Bout, issued by the prime minister's office, was received by the Foreign Ministry on Monday afternoon," the source told RIA Novosti on condition of anonymity.

    The Russian side received no formal notification that the government gave its final approval for the extradition, he added.

    Thai foreign ministry officials earlier stated that Russia was notified of all stages of the extradition procedure.

    Bout's lawyer, Lak Nitivat, earlier said that the Thai authorities had not informed him, Bout's wife, or the Russian embassy in Bangkok about the move.

    Bout's extradition to the United States was ordered by the Thai appeals court on August 20, but was not carried out because the United States brought a second set of charges against him in February.

    These charges were dropped in early October, bringing the so-called Merchant of Death one step closer to extradition. His remand period was due to expire on Friday.

    Bout 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. He could face a 25 year sentence if convicted on all four charges against him.

     

    BANGKOK, November 19 (RIA Novosti)

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