Thursday, April 5, 2012


Convicted arms trafficker Viktor Bout was sentenced today to a term of twenty five years in Federal Prison by US District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin*. To that sentence, which is the minimum mandatory sentence for conspiracy to acquire and deploy anti-aircraft missiles, the Court added concurrent 15 years sentences, on three other counts, involving conspiracy to kill US nationals, and providing material support to a terrorist organisation, in this case the Colombian FARC.

The United States Attorney's office had requested a Life Sentence in their Sentencing Memorandum**. Bout's attorneys have two weeks to file an appeal; one of his lawyers has indicated that they intend to appeal all the way to the United States Supreme Court.

The US Attorney for the Southern District was quoted as saying "today's sentence is a fitting coda for this career arms trafficker of the most dangerous order."

The man believed by law enforcement to have been Bout's primary money launderer, the Syrian-born accountant, Richard Ammar Chichakli, remains a fugitive from justice in a related case. Chichakli, once  a practising CPA in the United States, has been seen in Russia, where his extradition is extremely doubtful.
*United States vs. Viktor Bout, Case No.: 08-cr-000365-SAS (SD NY).
** Government Memorandum asks for Life Sentence for Viktor Bout

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