Jury to Begin Deliberations in Victor Bout Case
Posted on Tue Nov 01, 2011 at 08:44:00 AM EST
Tags: Viktor Bout (all tags)
The prosecution and defense gave their closing arguments Monday in the trial of Russian businessman Viktor Bout, accused of agreeing with pretend FARC members to sell weapons to be used against the U.S. in Colombia. The elaborate DEA sting began in Curacao, continued in Denmark, Russia, Romania and Moscow, and culminated in Thailand. The heart of the defense argument:
Mr. Dayan’s core argument was that Mr. Bout had humored the supposed FARC representatives’ interest in weapons, and even encouraged it, in an attempt to sell two cargo planes that he intended to persuade the men were necessary for the delivery of the weapons. Mr. Dayan emphasized that Mr. Bout never actually believed the men were members of FARC and said his client was “acting out” throughout their dealings; a weapons deal, Mr. Dayan said, was never agreed upon, nor did Mr. Bout ever plan on delivering any military equipment.
Mr. Dayan said that by the time of his arrest, Mr. Bout had made the transition from a legal arms-dealing trade to other business opportunities, like real estate, and the defense lawyer seemed to blame the fiasco on Mr. Smulian, Mr. Bout’s former associate. While Mr. Bout fought extradition in Thai courts after his arrest, Mr. Smulian voluntarily traveled to the United States and has cooperated with prosecutors for three and a half years.
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