Intl. Arms Trafficker Viktor Bout Goes Down; NY Jury Convicts Him

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By Allan Lengel

Bye Bye Viktor Bout.

A federal jury in New York on Wednesday convicted the international arms dealer, whose life inspired the Nicholas Cage film “Lord of War.”

The Justice Department said Bout was convicted of conspiring to sell millions of dollars worth of weapons to the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) – a designated foreign terrorist organization based in Colombia – to be used to kill Americans in Colombia.

“Today, one of the world’s most prolific arms dealers is being held accountable for his sordid past,” said Attorney General Eric Holder in a statement.

“Viktor Bout’s arms trafficking activity and support of armed conflicts have been a source of concern around the globe for decades. Today, he faces the prospect of life in prison for his efforts to sell millions of dollars worth of weapons to terrorists for use in killing Americans.” N.Y. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharaa added: “As the evidence at trial showed, Viktor Bout was ready to sell a weapons arsenal that would be the envy of some small countries. He aimed to sell those weapons to terrorists for the purpose of killing Americans.”

Authorities said Bout was arrested in Thailand in March 2008 based on a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court. He was charged in a four-count indictment in May 2008 and extradited to the Southern District of New York in November 2010.

Specifically, the federal jury Wednesday convicted him of conspiring to kill U.S. nationals; conspiring to kill U.S. officers and employees; conspiring to acquire and use anti-aircraft missiles; and conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin presided over the three week trial.




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