Russia Denounces Bout Sentence

Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout (undated file photo).
Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout (undated file photo).
Peter Cobus

Russia's foreign ministry is lashing out at the United States for ordering Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout to 25 years in prison.

A ministry statement Friday condemned the sentence, accusing the U.S. court of carrying out an obvious "political order."

A U.S. judge handed Bout the 25 year prison term for attempting to sell missiles to Colombian rebels. Prosecutors had charged Bout with terrorism, dubbing him the "Merchant of Death."

Bout shouted during the sentencing hearing, yelling that the charges against him were a lie and that he was a legitimate businessman. His lawyer says he will appeal the sentence all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary.

Federal prosecutors said Bout's weapons sales helped inflame wars in Africa. They say he was planning to sell surface-to-air missiles to Colombian rebels to shoot down U.S. helicopters.

U.S. agents posing as rebels arrested him in Thailand in 2008. He was extradited to the United States, tried, and convicted in November.

Bout insisted he was trying to sell cargo planes, not weapons, to the agents.

He could have been sentenced to life in prison, but Judge Shira Scheindlin said there was "no reason to believe" Bout would have committed the crimes had he not been lured by the undercover sting operation.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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Comment Sorting
by: Simon
April 12, 2012 8:23 PM
If our authorities try to help a Russian, it is very suspicious, usually they don't give a damn for a ordinary fellow citizen in peril. That is why I assume Bout is definitely guilty. He is definitely THEIR person, of this corrupted, criminal Putin's regime. Perhaps he knows too much and they are afraid he might begin to tell the secret criminal schemes of RF authorities.

by: Cha Cha Cohen
April 07, 2012 12:23 AM
At the end of the day all arm manufacturers all over the world will make loads of money, but I only sympathise for those innocent peoples who get killed with their produce and no body else! I am waiting for the verdict from GOD on the mother of all judgement!

by: Retired military
April 06, 2012 6:32 PM
We should not be surprised by the reaction of the Russian authorities,for them this guy is a hero!He's feeding the Russian economy. They have no value for human life.Did u know that during the Soviet era they used to test their new weapons on their live soldiers?

by: NVO
April 06, 2012 2:01 PM
Russia is a SHAM, plain and simple and they will be the first to attack Israel during the tribulation=Ezekiel 38&39. What do you think about that Putin?
Denial, Denial!! and that is no river, in Egypt.

by: John
April 06, 2012 10:03 AM
Its not that Russians don't understand how an American jury would view a Russian arms-dealer profiting from intent to kill many Americans. Rather, it might be that Russian intelligence know that Bout will rat out several Russian officials in the illegal arms trade so "offer he can't refuse" is for Bout to ONLY accept Russian assistance for appeal - or he meets an unfortunate but very early death in prison. US may see Bout exchange for Mikhail Khodorovsky and Platon Lebedev.

by: Stephen Real
April 06, 2012 6:54 AM
It looks to me like the Presecution drop the ball bigtime on the Victor Bout case. You would think they would have done their homework in such a high profile case. Victor is thee original creep. He is one bad man.

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