Monday, October 15, 2012


Albert Dayan, counsel to convicted Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout, has stated that his client's extradition to the United States was accomplished through bribery, threats and intimidation, and was therefore illegal. He claims that newly-discovered evidence confirms that the US illegally coerced Thai Government officials into allowing his extradition. A review of the case at the trial court level (SD NY) does not show that any such motion has been filed, though he has made statements that indicate that this is his intention. Dayan think that a dismissal will be the end result, due to governmental misconduct.

Bout, who is presently serving a 25-year sentence in a Federal Prison, under severely restrictive conditions designed to isolate convicted terrorists, and deny them meaningful contact with the outside world, has repeatedly claimed that his indictment was for purely political reasons, and his extradition from Thailand, improper.

Under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure*, the trial judge can vacate the judgment, and order a new trial if the interests of justice so require. Newly-discovered evidence that implicates the United States in illegally coercing the Government of Thailand to extradite Bout could constitute grounds for a new trial, if there were violations of US law. Attorney Dayan claims that several US officials were involved, but has not volunteered their names.

Was this case, in which Bout alleged that he had been entrapped by the Drug Enforcement Agency, brought for political reasons, and was Bout illegally extradited, in violation of US and Thai law ? Will Mr. Dayan file a Motion for a New Trial now ? We cannot say, but we will be watching.

* Rule 33, F.R. Crim. P. permits such a motion, if made within three years after entry of judgment.

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