The story appears on

Page A10

August 14, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » World

Thais still seeking to extradite arms dealer

THAI prosecutors announced yesterday that they plan to challenge a lower court ruling that rejected a US request to extradite suspected Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

That means Bout, 42, dubbed the "Merchant of Death" for allegedly shipping arms that have fueled conflicts in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, will spend several more months in a Thai jail pending the appeal. He had hoped for release as early as today.

Bout was arrested in March 2008 at a hotel in Bangkok as part of a sting in which US agents posed as arms buyers for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, which the US classifies as a terrorist organization.

The Bangkok Criminal Court rejected the extradition request on Tuesday because it deemed FARC a political movement, rather than a terrorist group, which meant that Bout's crimes were political offenses, ruling out extradition under a US-Thai treaty.

"The prosecutor has filed its intention to appeal the case as requested by US officials," said Sirisak Tiyatan, the director general of the Attorney General's foreign division. The appeal must be filed within 30 days.

Bout's lawyer Lak Nitiwatanavichan said he was confident the rejection would be upheld on appeal and his client eventually freed. "Let them appeal. We will fight with the same defense. I don't see why the court would rule differently."

Bout, a former Soviet air force officer, has been linked to some of the world's most notorious conflicts, allegedly supplying arms to former Liberian leader Charles Taylor and Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend