U.S. court denies new trial for Victor Bout
MOSCOW, November 21 (RAPSI) – The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld a ruling of a lower court, denying to hold a new trial for Victor Bout, a Russian national who is serving a 25-year sentence for conspiring to kill Americans, according to court records obtained by RAPSI.
In June 2015, Bout filed a petition for a new trial in his case in light of newly discovered evidence. In October, a U.S. court denied the petition to review the case against Bout.
This evidence was supposed to prove that Bout could not conspire with the UK national Andrew Smulian, who was allegedly recruited by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Moreover, according to defense, the evidence also suggests that Smulian perjured against Bout. Additionally, credibility of testimony given by of the DEA employees raised some questions during preparation for trial.
The Court of Appeals dismissed arguments of defense, refusing to acknowledge provided information as newly discovered evidence and denied to return the case for a new trial.
Bout was arrested in Bangkok in March 2008 and taken to the United States. In November 2011, he was convicted of conspiracy to murder U.S. nationals, including military officers and employees, and of selling 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.
Bout has consistently denied the charges. Russia attempted to have him extradited from the U.S. under the 1983 Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, but without success. Bout is currently serving time in the Marion federal prison in Illinois.