Russian arms dealer extradited to USBy IANS
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Bangkok, Nov 16 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Former Russian army officer and alleged arms dealer Viktor Bout has been extradited from Thailand to the US, the Russian consul said in Bangkok Tuesday.
Bout was arrested in Thailand in March 2008 during a sting operation led by US agents. The US accuses him of conspiring to sell millions of dollars’ worth of weapons to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), among other illegal arms deals. Bout has denied all charges.
“Bout was taken from Thailand on board a Gulfstream plane. Presumably to the US,” Andrei Dvornikov, the Russian consul, said.
Thai Premier Abhisit Vejjajiva earlier gave the green signal for Bout’s extradition.
Bout’s lawyer Lak Nitivat, however, said the extradition was illegal.
The things that happened were “absolutely outrageous”, the lawyer said, adding that Thai authorities had not informed him, Bout’s wife, or the Russian embassy in Bangkok about the move.
Bout - dubbed the “Merchant of Death” by world media - was the inspiration behind the 2005 Hollywood film “The Lord of War”, starring Nicholas Cage.