EU convention does not guarantee extradition of convicts to Russia - lawyer
NEW YORK, May 14 (RAPSI) - The Council of Europe's Convention of the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, which Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov pledged to use at a Moscow meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry on May 7, does not guarantee Victor Bout's and Konstantin Yaroshenko's extradition to Russia, Bout's US attorney Albert Dayan told RIA Novosti.
"There is no guarantee that the US will agree to hand over the Russians to serve their sentences at home. In order for such an appeal by Russia to be considered, Viktor Bout would have to repent, or complete an appeal process. But the chances of their being extradited are negligible," the attorney said.
"There can be no mention of Bout's repentance. Victor has nothing to repent of," he added.
In April 2011, Yaroshenko was sentenced to 20 years in prison for colluding to smuggle cocaine into the United States. He was caught after replying to an advertisement posted by a group of DEA agents, who claimed that they were selling a cargo plane for $1.
Bout is serving a 25-year sentence in Illinois. He was convicted in November 2011 of conspiracy to murder US 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.
Russia requested Bout's and Yaroshenko's extradition in 2012. Bout's extradition was denied in November 2012, while a decision has not yet been made over Yaroshenko.
Both men plead not guilty, and the prosecution based its arguments on the evidence of special service agents who posed as militants and drug dealers.