“Lord of war” title for Viktor Bout challenged in Russian court
MOSCOW, April 9 - RAPSI. The wife of Viktor Bout, the Russian shipping businessman who was sentenced last year in the US to a 25-year prison term on charges of attempted illegal arms trafficking, told RAPSI Tuesday that she has filed a defamation claim against popular Russian television station REN TV.
The network aired a documentary entitled “Mafia of the Soviet Union” in November 2012 which referred to her husband as a “Lord of War” and a Russian mob boss.
“Today we filed with Moscow’s Khamovichesky Court a complaint demanding that details about my husband featured in a widely disseminated documentary film ‘Mafia of the Soviet Union,’ should be declared defamatory,” Bout told RAPSI Tuesday.
She added that she seeks to recover $1 million from the channel in damages.
Bout was convicted in November 2011 of conspiracy to murder US nationals, including military officers and employees, and to sell millions of dollars’ worth of weapons, including hundreds of portable surface-to-air missiles and over 20,000 AK-47s, to the Colombian rebel group FARC.
He 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.
Bout's story gained popular notoriety through the success of the Hollywood blockbuster Lord of War, a story that is said to be loosely based on Bout's life.