Russian Bout turned down US plea bargain

Bout, a former Soviet air force officer, could be imprisoned for life if convicted on U.S. terrorism and arms trafficking charges.

Russian Bout turned down US plea bargain

Suspected Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout said on Sunday he had refused a plea bargain with the U.S. authorities in his first public comments after his extradition to the United States in November.

Viktor Bout also accused the US authorities of waging a well-orchestrated smear campaign and said from his New York prison that he did not expect justice in the United States.

"I was offered a softer sentence and a shorter prison term if I told them everything I knew about my contacts in Russia and other countries," Bout told RIA Novosti in comments relayed to the state news agency by Russia's deputy consul in New York.

Russian state-owned RIA Novosti news agency published Bout's remarks he sent via a Russian embassy official in the U.S.

"But I answered that I had nothing to tell about, I don't know anything they are interested in."

Bout was flown to New York in November from Thailand, where he had been the focus of a tug-of-war between Russia and the United States since his March 2008 arrest in a U.S.-led sting operation.

Bout, a former Soviet air force officer, could be imprisoned for life if convicted on U.S. terrorism and arms trafficking charges.

In November, a Russian diplomat said U.S. authorities pressured him to admit guilt. Russia has said it "has nothing to hide" from the U.S. in the Bout case.


Agencies

Last Mod: 02 Ocak 2011, 17:31
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