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U.S. Extradites International Arms Dealer Viktor Bout From Thailand

https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&ik=2710cf0343&view=att&th=12c5a492a95fc87b&attid=0.1&disp=inline&zw

(dea photo)
By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

In the eyes of Russian officials, Viktor Bout is an innocent businessman being railroaded — quite contrary to the American view that he’s a cunning and dangerous arms dealer worthy of the moniker “Merchant of Death.”

Clad in black T-shirt and black sweat pants, Bout briefly appeared this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, represented by a federal defender. He entered a not guilty plea and was ordered held without bail pending his next court appearance, set for Jan. 10.

“Yes, your honor,” Bout told U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin when asked if he understood the charges, the New York Daily News reported.

The case has garnered international attention and caused Cold War-like strains between Russia and the U.S. And things heated up when he was extradited from Thailand and arrived Tuesday in New York aboard a plane chartered by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

U.S. authorities allege that Bout had agreed to supply arms and weapons to two confidential sources for the DEA who posed as Colombian rebels intending to kill American pilots patrolling the drug war.

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