MOSCOW, January 17 (RAPSI) - The defense team for Russian businessman Viktor Bout, who was convicted and sentenced on arms-trafficking charges in the US, do not plan to appeal the sentence to the US Supreme Court, attorney Alexei Binetsky told reporters Friday.
Binetsky explained that he sees no point to a Supreme Court appeal.
He added that due to nuances of Russian law, Bout cannot be turned over to the country, as a conviction for intent to commit a crime is unprecedented under Russian law, according to Binetsky.
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 nationals, 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.
Binetsky had previously expressed an intent to appeal to the Supreme Court, once money was available to do so. As he previously explained to RAPSI: “You need money to keep fighting, which Viktor [Bout] doesn’t have right now. As soon there’s money, the preparation of a motion to the US Supreme Court will commence.”
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.