Bout's Thai trial to resume in September
BANGKOK, July 23 - RAPSI. Thailand's next court session to reconsider Russian businessman Viktor Bout's extradition case will be held in Bangkok on September 17, Bout's new Thai defense attorney told RIA Novosti on Saturday.
The lawyer stressed that the defense still believes the new trial will prove that Bouts arrest, custody and extradition in November 2010 were unlawful.
He said the trial was delayed because the court had neglected to send Bout due notification of the death of his former counsel Lak Nitivat Vichan in early January.
The hearing has been scheduled for mid-September as the court estimates that it will take a minimum of three months to receive a reply from Bout, who is currently serving his prison sentence in Illinois.
Bout was arrested in a U.S. sting operation in Thailand in 2008 on charges of assisting terrorism. After Thai prosecutors failed to declare Bouts conduct a crime, he was released, but was then immediately arrested again due to a U.S. extradition request. During his two and a half years in Thai prisons, he won the extradition case twice, but the ruling of a Thai appellate court finally granted the United States his extradition.
Although Bout's case was already in the process of being reconsidered by a Thai court, the Russian businessman was handed over to the U.S. authorities and flown out of Thailand in breach of Thai and international law.