The lawyers of Viktor Bout, accused by the US government of arms smuggling, are to file an appeal against his extradition from Thailand. U.S. Judge for the Southern District of NY Shira Sheindlin has ruled to extend a deadline for submitting the appeal by 3 weeks.
The U.S. Court has satisfied the appeal from the defence and postponed the deadline for the appeals pertaining Bout’s extradition to 27 May 2011. Next month the prosecution will submit motions. The hearings on the legality of Russian businessman’s extradition are to continue on July 21, 2011.
Bout’s lawyer Albert Dayan argued that the extension of the deadline for motions was called for by the complexity of extraditional issues and legislation both of the USA and Thailand. He said: «The defence is still waiting for legal estimation of the pressure the United States put on the Thai government and courts to reconsider earlier decision of a court in favour of Bout which rejected the U.S. extradition request». The defence is now scrutinising the legislation of both countries, gathered evidence and testimony, as well as questioning the witnesses.
Russian Mafia — rumafia.com reported earlier that Viktor Bout was arrested in Bangkok in March 2008 by the U.S. request. For 2 years the United States were unable to provide a Thai court with the evidence, proving his guilt. However in 2010 the court ruled to extradite Bout on the grounds that «the case has nothing to do with politics and evidence proving his guilt, the palintiff claims, is in the U.S. territory». Moscow's reaction was harsh. The Foreign Ministry called the court's decision «politically motivated and unfair». At present Viktor Bout is incarcerated at a New-York prison. His indictment includes 4 counts: conspiracy to kill a U.S. citizen, conspiracy to kill public officers, conspiracy to deal anti-aircraft missiles and arms dealing to terrorist groups. The suspected Russian denies he is guilty of committing any of the crimes.
The businessman faces from 25 years in prison up to life sentence if found guilty. The trial is scheduled for October 11.