MOSCOW, January 17 (RAPSI) – Viktor Bout, the convicted Russian arms dealer, has dropped plans to appeal his sentence to the United States Supreme Court, his lawyer said Friday.
Alexei Binetsky told reporters that he saw no point to a Supreme Court appeal. He added that Bout could not seek a return to Russia to serve his sentence because Russian law does not recognize an intent to commit a crime.
Bout, 47, was arrested in Thailand in 2008 in an elaborate sting operation. Shortly after his arrest, US authorities issued an indictment against him. He was extradited to the US in 2010 after lengthy Thai extradition proceedings.
Bout sentenced to 25 years in prison after being convicted by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York of conspiracy to kill US nationals, conspiracy to kill US officers and employees, conspiracy to acquire and export a missile system designed to destroy aircraft, and conspiracy to provide material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization, namely Colombia’s FARC guerrilla group.
The Russian businessman has consistently denied the charges against him. Russia attempted to have Bout extradited from the United States in line with the 1983 Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, but without success.
Binetsky had previously expressed an intention to appeal to the Supreme Court, once money was available to do so. As he previously explained to RAPSI: “You need money to keep fighting, which Viktor [Bout] doesn’t have right now. As soon as there’s money, the preparation of a motion to the US Supreme Court will commence.”
Bout gained popular notoriety through the success of the Hollywood blockbuster Lord of War, a story that is said to be loosely based on his life - although a highly sensationalized version.