The New York court's rejection of an appeal by Russian citizen Viktor Bout, convicted last year of arms dealing, raises questions about the independence and impartiality of the judicial system of the United States, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday.
"The decision of the Federal Court in New York to reject the appeal of Viktor Bout’s lawyers against the guilty verdict raises serious questions about the independence and credibility of the American judicial system," Lukashevich said.
“The Russian Foreign Ministry will strive for the return of Viktor Bout to Russia using all available legal and political mechanisms. We will continue to demand provision of the normal conditions for the detention of a Russian citizen including the implementation of court’s decisions on revising the detention regime,” Lukashevich added.
Shira Scheindlin, Judge of the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York, rejected a motion on Wednesday night against Bout’s guilty verdict. The defense had insisted on the absence of direct evidence proving a conspiracy to murder U.S. citizens and officials. Sentencing is scheduled for March 12.