News / Europe

Thai Court Allows More Charges Against Russian Arms Dealer

With tight security and the flak jacket on, Viktor Bout, center, a suspected Russian arms dealer, leaves the criminal court in Bangkok, Thailand, 04 Oct. 2010
With tight security and the flak jacket on, Viktor Bout, center, a suspected Russian arms dealer, leaves the criminal court in Bangkok, Thailand, 04 Oct. 2010

Multimedia

Audio
Ron Corben

A Thai court has ruled more charges against Russian arms dealer, Victor Bout, should be heard. The ruling will delay steps to extradite Bout to the United States to face charges of conspiracy and support for foreign terrorist organizations.

The 43-year-old Victor Bout arrived at the Thai court under heavy armed escort in a separate van and wearing a bullet proof jacket over his prisoner uniform.

Additional charges

The court ruled a second set of charges of money laundering and wire fraud that were brought by Washington, should be heard, overruling an appeal by the public prosecutor for the charges to be dropped.

The additional charges were filed after a Bangkok Criminal Court in August 2009 rejected an initial U.S. extradition request. The United States had filed an appeal and the new charges against Bout to ensure his continued detention and eventual extradition – a move that is now stalling the process.

Denies charges of involvement

Bout, a former Soviet air force officer known as an arms trader through the 1990s, was arrested in March 2008 in a sting operation at a Bangkok luxury hotel. U.S. agents had posed as arms buyers for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or FARC.

Bout has denied the charges of involvement in illicit arms trading to areas such as Africa, South America and the Middle East. Reports say Washington moved to arrest Bout after allegations arose of him supplying weapons to the Taliban.

Final decision by government

Earlier, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said he would have the final say over the issue of Bout's extradition. Government spokesman Panitan Wattanaygorn said the administration would await a final court verdict.

"Well if it is in the case [of the appeal being rejected] the matter is in the court," Panitan said. "The government will not make any decision until the decision is final from the court. So that is our position."

In a letter distributed by his wife to reporters, Bout claimed his innocence, saying he had never sold weapons to anybody. His wife, Alla Bout, in a separate letter, also appealed to Prime Minister Abhisit, to block the extradition. She had accused U.S. Special Forces of violations during the arrest of her husband.

Moscow protests, calls for his return

Moscow has protested Bout's arrest as being politically motivated and had called for him to be sent back to Russia.

But analysts say Bout also has knowledge of Russia's military and intelligence operations and these are the key reasons why Moscow does not want Bout sent to the United States.

The hearing of the additional charges means Bout must remain in Thailand until a final verdict. Legal sources say Bout had hoped the charges would come to court to further delay the moves to extradite him. Any extension beyond three months and the order will expire requiring the process to begin again.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid