Thursday, November 6, 2014


John Ashcroft
Convicted Russian  arms trafficker Viktor Bout, who we thought was about to fade away into obscurity, as he is currently serving a 25-year Federal prison sentence in the United States, is back. He has retained new counsel, who have successfully obtained an order allowing an extension of time, until January 1, 2015, to file a Motion for a New Trial, on the grounds of newly-discovered evidence, pursuant to Rule 33 F.R. Crim. P.

Some may say that his new lawyers constitute a "dream team," as they include Michael Sullivan, who is not only the former United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, but he has also served as the director of a Federal law enforcement agency, The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF. Mr. Sullivan is with the Kansas City, Missouri law firm of former US Attorney General John Ashcroft, who served in the Cabinet of President Ronald Reagan, and you may assume that other lawyers in that firm will also be working on this case. Also named is Alexei Tarasov, a Russian-born trilingual Houston attorney who has substantial experience in Washington circles, and who was probably retained due to his experience with, and knowledge of, Russian-American relationships.
Michael Sullivan
The filings to date are minimal, and do not specify exactly what the newly-discovered evidence is that will be offered by the attorneys. For three years, there has been speculation that Bout may have been targeted for criminal prosecution, because of his prior role, in providing logistical support to a number of covert American intelligence operations abroad, in the past, might embarrass certain US agencies. His long criminal background, however, will make any successful defense, claiming entrapment, extremely difficult, if not impossible.

Alexei Tarasov

Will Bout's attorneys produce a smoking gun, and obtain a new trial ? Stay tuned.


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