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.
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