New York court dismisses Bout's appeal referring to juror's bias
Viktor Bout was arrested in Thailand in 2008 and further extradited to the United States. He was consequently convicted by the jury trial of conspiring to kill Americans and supporting terrorism.
The court is expected to pass a sentence to Bout on February 8. He faces from 25 years to life in prison.
Bout's defense has challenged the verdict on the ground that at least one juror was provided with only a lopsided information about the defendant based on the Lord of War film she saw before the trial. She mentioned it in her New York Times interview.
Many publications believe that the film was based on the Bout’s life story, although Bout has personally refuted this allegation, arguing that he had never traded in arms.
Heather Hobson, the juror who admitted that she saw the film, answered the questions of Judge Shira Scheindlin and Bout’s attorney Robert Dyan.
Hobson said that she saw the film several years ago, but never thought the story had anything to do with the defendant and she did not discuss the film with anybody during the trial.
“I had seen that terrible Nicolas Cage movie,” she said, a reference to the film “Lord of War,” which is believed to have been inspired by Mr. Bout, “and I had no idea it was about this guy.” Meanwhile Dayan maintains that the verdict was based on emotions, rather than facts. He told journalists that he filed another petition to Judge Scheindlin concerning two questions to be answered by the prosecutors by January 6.
In his petition Dayan expects to ask the prosecutors about the possibility of a diverse interpretation of the facts that provided the grounds for charging Bout with conspiring against Americans.