The US Attorney's Office in Manhattan has filed its Memorandum of Law in Opposition to Defendant's Motion for a New Trial based upon Newly-Discovered Evidence, in Viktor's Bout's arms trafficking case. His "dream team" of attorneys have a difficult task, for the existing case law imposes a very high burden upon anyone seeking a new trial. "It is well settled that motions for a new trial are not favored;" they are generally granted " with great caution, and in the most extraordinary circumstances," as the Government's memorandum correctly states.
The grounds previously asserted by Bout:
(1) Government witness Andrew Smulian was a confidential informant throughout the matter, and therefore could not have conspired with Bout.
(2) The Court's opinion, which withdrew its adverse credibility findings, was improper.
(3) The declaration of a Bulgarian arms dealer would have changed the outcome of the trial.
The response of the US Government:
(A) The purportedly newly-discovered evidence fails to establish that Smulian was a Government agent.
(B) Bout's post-arrest statements were not presented to the Grand Jury, and did not figure in its decision to indict him.
(C) The declaration of the arms dealer was neither newly-discovered evidence, nor an adequate basis for a new trial.
The denial of Bout's motion should, for all intents and purposes, end his quest to have his case tried for a second time.
We shall continue to follow this case, as it is of great public interest. The Russian Government continues to insist that it was purely a political prosecution, and some observers question whether Bout was targeted due to his falling out with segments of the American intelligence community, with whom he had a long, but covert, relationship.