Russia may return Bout to Thailand
MOSCOW, April 6 - RAPSI. The Russian authorities may put diplomatic pressure on Thailand to cancel the 2010 decision to extradite its citizen Viktor Bout to the United States. who was sentenced to 25 years in prison by a U.S. court, attorney Douglas Mcnabb, an international law specialist, told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI) on Friday.
Bout was arrested in a Bangkok hotel in March 2008 with U.S. representatives taking part in the operations. The United States considers Bout the worlds number-one arms dealer. The United States then requested his extradition to the United States.
In 2009, a Thai court dismissed the request as Bout is a Russian citizen, and found the request to be political prosecution. However, in 2010, an appeals court satisfied a U.S. appeal against the lower-court decision and agreed to extradite Bout.
McNabb suggests that the Russian government could conceivably act in conjunction with the Thai government to secure Bout's legitimate departure from the United States based on the recent death of his Thai defense attorney Lak Nitivat Vichan. Specifically, Vichan passed away during a trial examining the legitimacy of Bout's extradition from Thailand. The trial is on hold until a new defense attorney is secured. If the trial continues and the court holds that the extradition was illegal, the Thai government will be entitled in accordance with a U.S.-Thai extradition treaty to legitimately demand Bout's return.
While Bout has no rights as an individual under the treaty, the Thai government does.
While McNabb admitted this scenario is farfetched, he suggested it is worth pursuing for Russia.
The New York Federal Court sentenced Bout to 25 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of his intention to sell arms to the Revolutioary Armed Forces of Columbia.
The Russian Foreign Ministry believes the U.S. authorities did not provide sufficient evidence of Bout's intent.