Did the U.S. Offer a Plea Deal to Viktor Bout?

Viktor Bout, the suspected Russian arms merchant, is being quoted as saying U.S. authorities promised him a lighter sentence in exchange for information about his contacts.

Bout, known as the “Merchant of Death,” said the plea bargain offer was extended by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents who transported him from Thailand in November.

Bout was arrested in Thailand in 2008 in a U.S. sting on charges of conspiring to sell weapons to a terrorist group. He fought extradition, but was sent in November to New York, where he is in federal detention awaiting trial.

Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported Sunday that Bout said he was offered “a lighter sentence…and the possibility of bringing my family to the U.S.A., if I told all I know about my contacts in Russia and other countries. But I responded that I have nothing to say.” See the entire news article and interview here.

If the U.S. government did offer Bout a plea deal in exchange for information and he rejected it, Bout is most likely headed for trial in the U.S. at this point.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

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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