April 6, 2012- The Russia government described the decision of a U.S. court to sentence Victor Bout, an arms dealer, to a sentence of 25 year in prison as groundless and political. Bout is considered the Merchant of Death and received the mandatory minimum sentence on Thursday following his conviction on terrorism and conspiracy charges.
Prosecutors had asked the judge to sentence Bout to life, as they argued that his weapons trafficking had helped to fuelled different conflicts worldwide. On Friday, the foreign ministry of Russia said the sentence Bout received was biased and baseless.
The evidence in the case was shaking at best said Russia. Many feel Bout was arrested illegally in Thailand by Special Forces and then extradited to the U.S. The Russians said it was nothing more than a political order. They said the judge failed to listen to numerous appeals and arguments the defense had.
Russia has defended Bout since his arrest in 2008 in Thailand. They tried to block his extradition. Bout was found guilty in a federal court in November of last year on charges of acquiring and shipping anti-aircraft missiles conspiracy to kill U.S. citizens and for providing support to terrorist organizations.
Prosecutors said Bout’s sales of weapons helped fuel some of the bloodiest conflicts around the globe including Angola, Congo and Rwanda.