MOSCOW, November 20 (RAPSI) – Babushkinsky District court of Moscow is reviewing a lawsuit filed by entrepreneurs Sergei Denisenko and Andrei Kosolapov, who were dubbed partners of Russian businessman Viktor Bout, convicted for arms trafficking in the US by the “Liberty” radio website.

The Liberty radio’s website published an article where Denisenko and Kosolapov were named as Bout’s “followers”.  The article stated that the businessmen allegedly organized a worldwide arms trafficking operation, that included offshore banks, air transport companies and insurance companies in Europe and Africa, and that US imposed sanctions on relations with the claimants’ companies.

Denisenko and Kosolapov called the article defamatory and full of libelous claims, which led to termination of long-term business relations with a number of clients and partners. The claimants said that a major air transport company from Kyrgyzstan cancelled a contract until the information concerning “illegal arms trafficking” will be refuted.

The businessmen say that the cancelled contracts were worth $5 million, and demand a compensation of 3 million rubles.

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.