MOSCOW, November 6 (RAPSI) - Russia's Ministry of Justice has not received information on the fact that Russian businessman Viktor Bout, convicted for arms trafficking in the United States, has withdrawn the appeal against his guilty verdict in the US, the ministry press office told RIA Novosti.
On Monday, Alla Bout said that her husband has withdrawn the appeal against the sentence. “This was Viktor’s decision,” Alla Bout said on Tuesday. “There is no point in a further appeal … the situation will be the same.”
Alla Bout said nothing about the couple’s next steps, but confirmed that her husband has declined the services of his original lawyer, Albert Dayan. "Currently, his attorney is Alexei Binetsky," she said.
Bout was arrested in Thailand in 2008 as a result of an elaborate sting operation. Shortly after his arrest, US authorities issued an indictment against him. He was extradited to the US in 2010, after lengthy Thai extradition proceedings.
Bout was convicted by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York of conspiracy to kill US national, conspiracy to kill US officers and employees, conspiracy to acquire and export a missile system designed to destroy aircraft, and conspiracy to provide material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization. He was later sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Bout 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 - although a highly sensationalized version of his life story.