News

    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.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    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.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.