Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Sunday, January 5, 2014

WILL SIMILAR CASE AFFECT VICKOR BOUT'S CLAIM OF SELECTIVE PROSECUTION ?


Viktor Bout's Russian attorney has said, repeatedly, that his client was the victim of Selective Prosecution, and that his arrest and conviction should be set aside for that reason. Should his counsel press that issue, if and when they get around to seeking review of his conviction and sentence, before the US Supreme Court, they may want to look at a similar case, also in the Southern District of New York, for it may defeat their argument.

United States vs. Ionnis Vigkakis* is, in many ways, on all fours with US vs. Bout.  To start:

(1) The defendant is an arms dealer, in this case a Greek national.
(2) He thought he was dealing with the FARC, but in reality, it was a DEA undercover agent.
(3) He offered to sell, among other items, surface to air missiles to the FARC.
(4) The intended targets were American military aircraft operating in Colombia.
(5) the case was prosecuted in the same Federal District as Bout's case.

The defendant ended up pleading guilty to a single court of Attempting to Provide Material Support to a Foreign Terrorist Organization in December. He will be sentenced at a later date. Considering the similar fact pattern, it may be difficult for Viktor Bout's attorneys to successfully argue Selective Prosecution, when the US Attorney can point to a case his office has brought, with a similar fact pattern, in the same District.
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*Case No.: 12-cr-00585-KBF (SDNY).

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