Viktor Bout – “Merchant of Death” – convicted in US

November 4, 2011

Douglas McNabb, an expert lawyer in federal criminal defense and international extradition, discusses the federal criminal and international extradition issues arising from Viktor Bout’s conviction.

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Extradition Saga of Viktor Bout: Timeline

October 13, 2011

1967: Born on 13 January 1967, reportedly in the Soviet republic of Tajikistan.

1987: He visits Angola as a “lieutenant and translator in the Soviet army.”

1991: The Soviet Union collapses.

1995: He founds an air freight company called Aircess operating across Africa.

1995-2002: He stands accused of selling weapons to UNITA rebels in the Angolan civil war during this period.

1995-2003: He stands accused of selling weapons to Liberia’s Charles Taylor to help him fight two civil wars during this period.

1998-2003: He stands accused of selling weapons to participants in the Second Congo War during this period.

2001: He is alleged to have supplied weapons to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

2004: His assets in the United States are frozen and he is named by Washington as an arms dealer. Ironically, allegations surface that he flew hundreds of flights into Iraq on behalf of the US military.

2005: A film starring Nicolas Cage said to be loosely based on his life called ‘Lord of War’ appears. He rubbishes it.

March 2008: Viktor Bout is arrested in Bangkok following a sting operation in which US agents posed as members of the Colombian Farc guerrillas.

September, 2008: Extradition hearing begins in Thailand which would send Viktor Bout to America.

October, 2010: Thai court delays extradition hearing after it is held up by technicalities over new accusations of money-laundering and fraud.

November 2010: Viktor Bout extradited.

January 2011: International lawyer Robert Amsterdam claims Russia is “terrified” that the forthcoming trial will expose his links to top Russian officials and Moscow’s secret deals with controversial regimes around the world. He claimed Bout contained a treasure trove of compromising information.

July 2011: Bout’s lawyers claim he is a victim of a malicious US prosecution, in motions to dismiss the case. They claimed US officials vindictively launched a 2008 sting operation against him. US District Judge Shira Scheindlin said she had trouble finding evidence the government had acted with malice.

This article was published by The Telegraph on October 13, 2011.

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Viktor Bout Trial Commences in US

October 11, 2011

The trial of Viktor Bout — a Russian ex-army officer accused of overseeing the world’s biggest private arms trafficker — has got under way in New York.

Prosecution and defense attorneys began the process of seating a jury panel from among 80 prospective jurors — a crush of candidates so large that reporters were not allowed in to cover the process because of space restrictions, court officials said.

Bout’s wife and daughter were among those in the courtroom as the vetting of jurors by Judge Shira Scheindlin and lawyers from both sides began, amid concerns that Bout’s notoriety could make it difficult for him to get a fair trial.

In a highly unusual move, Scheindlin said she will make the 12 jurors and alternates sign a statement swearing they will abstain from attempting to read about the defendant on the Internet or anywhere else.

Security will be tight for the trial, which could last up to three weeks.

Dubbed by US officials “the merchant of death,” Bout is accused of attempting to sell undercover US agents surface-to-air missiles and other weapons for use by Colombia’s FARC rebels against US anti-narcotics personnel. He has pleaded not guilty.

Bout was brought to the United States in 2010 from Thailand in the wake of a daring sting operation by US agents in a Thai hotel in 2008, followed by a bitter extradition battle that raised US-Russian tensions.

Bout’s New York legal team concedes that he did run a fleet of cargo planes acquired after the Soviet break-up, but insists he never sold or brokered weapons. He faces up to life in prison if found guilty.

The US government said Bout told the US agents he mistakenly believed to be FARC representatives that he could deliver 700 missiles, 5,000 assault rifles and millions of rounds of ammunition, in addition to land mines and explosives.

Bout’s extended resume — which is not directly at issue in the trial — allegedly includes pouring weapons into wars in Afghanistan, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Sudan.

This article was published by AFP on October 11, 2011.

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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