Russia condemns US sentence for arms dealer Viktor Bout
Source: The Guardian
Russia has lashed out at a US court decision to sentence arms dealer Viktor Bout to 25 years in prison, calling the move groundless and politically motivated.
Bout, known as the Merchant of Death, was sentenced to the mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison on Thursday after his conviction on conspiracy and terrorism charges. Prosecutors had asked for life in prison, arguing that Bout's weapons trafficking had fuelled conflicts around the world.
The Russian foreign ministry said on Friday it considered the sentencing "baseless and biased".
"Despite the shakiness of the evidence, the illegal nature of his arrest by US special forces in Thailand and his subsequent extradition, the US justice system, carrying out a clear political order, has ignored lawyers' arguments and numerous appeals in the defence of a Russian citizen," it said in a statement.
3. The judge herself sounds skeptical of the case.
Hence giving him the minimum sentence for the crime of which the jury convicted him. Once again, the US acts as if the world is its playground, imposing its laws on all people around the world. It is wrong.