MOSCOW, December 12 - RAPSI. The Russian authorities will continue seeking the extradition of Russian citizen Viktor Bout who was sentenced in the United States to 25 years in prison after his appeal against his conviction has been considered, Justice Minister Alexander Konovalov told journalists.
Konovalov said the Russian authorities did their best to extradite Viktor Bout.
"Unfortunately, it was clear that the attempt showed little promise from the start as there was no consensus between the Russian justice system and Bout himself. The United States' response might either be liked or not, but it is technically irreproachable. Until the appeals process is complete, the U.S. justice system has the right to rule against extradition and thus not allow him to serve his prison sentence in Russia, something it is not likely to do," the minister said.
A former Soviet military officer, Viktor Bout was convicted in November 2011 of conspiracy to murder U.S. nationals, including military officers and employees, conspiring to supply man-portable anti-aircraft missiles, and of selling millions of dollars worth of weapons to the Colombian rebel group FARC.
Bout, who has consistently denied the charges against him, was sentenced to 25 years in prison last April. He is serving his term in the Federal Penitentiary, Marion (USP Marion) in Illinois.
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.