NEW YORK – Russian businessman and convicted weapons-trafficker Viktor Bout, who is currently serving a 25-year jail term in the United States, has withdrawn an appeal against his sentence, his wife said Tuesday.
“This was Viktor’s decision,” Alla Bout said. “There is no point in a further appeal … the situation will be the same.”
Alla Bout said nothing about the couple’s next steps, but confirmed that her husband has declined the services of his original lawyer, Albert Dayan.
“Currently, his attorney is Alexei Binetsky,” she said.
Bout was arrested in Thailand in 2008 as a result of an elaborate sting operation. Shortly after his arrest, US authorities issued an indictment against him. He was extradited to the United States in 2010, after lengthy extradition proceedings.
Bout was convicted by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York of conspiracy to kill US nationals, conspiracy to kill US officers and employees, conspiracy to acquire and export a missile system designed to destroy aircraft, and conspiracy to provide material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization – namely Colombia’s FARC guerrilla group. He was later sentenced to 25 years in prison.
He has consistently denied the charges against him. Russia has unsuccessfully attempted to have Bout extradited from the United States in line with the 1983 Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons.