Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Google Was Making A Space Elevator And A Hoverboard, But Couldn't Get Them To Work

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A bitter pill to swallow

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Investors take fright over Google results

Read more

DEBATE

What's Putin's Plan? Kiev Accuses Russia of Terrorism

Read more

DEBATE

What's Putin's Plan? Kiev Accuses Russia of Terrorism (part 2)

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Rwandan singer amongst terror plot suspects

Read more

FOCUS

Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

Read more

WEB NEWS

Chile: Online mobilization to help Valparaiso fire victims

Read more

ENCORE!

Art, sex, money, memory and manga

Read more

  • Algeria heads to the polls: ‘This election has nothing to do with us’

    Read more

  • Frantic search for survivors of sunken South Korea ferry

    Read more

  • Pro-Russian separatists killed in attack on Black Sea base

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

  • Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

  • Scandal-hit French doctor Jacques Servier dies at 92

    Read more

  • Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in DR Congo

    Read more

  • Crunch talks on Ukraine to begin in Geneva

    Read more

  • Stagehand of God? Maradona's legendary goal inspires a play

    Read more

  • US rolls out red carpet for French critic of capitalism

    Read more

  • N. Korea not amused by London hair salon's Kim Jong-un ad

    Read more

  • Real Madrid beat old foes Barcelona to lift Copa del Rey

    Read more

  • France's new PM targets welfare in drive to cut spending

    Read more

  • Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

    Read more

  • Brazil club Mineiro cancel Anelka signing after no-show

    Read more

  • Syria 'torture' photos silence UN Security Council members

    Read more

  • Paris laboratory loses deadly SARS virus samples

    Read more

  • More than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in northeast Nigeria

    Read more

  • New York police disband unit targeting Muslims

    Read more

  • 'Miracle girl' healthy after seven-organ transplant in Paris

    Read more

  • Paris police memo calling for Roma eviction ‘rectified’

    Read more

  • Burgundy digs into France's bureaucratic 'mille-feuille'

    Read more

  • French court drops ‘hate speech’ case against Bob Dylan

    Read more

  • Algeria rights crackdown slammed ahead of election

    Read more

Asia-pacific

'Merchant of Death' leaves Thailand to face US terrorism charges

©

Video by Luke SHRAGO

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-11-16

Accused Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout, known as the "Merchant of Death", was flown out of Bangkok on a special US jet after Thai authorities on Tuesday approved his extradition to the United States on terrorism charges.

AP - Thailand extradited accused Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout to the U.S. on Tuesday to face terrorism charges, siding with Washington in a tug of war with Moscow over whether to send him to stand trial or let him go home.
 

'Bout's extradition was a long process.'

The Cabinet approved Bout’s extradition Tuesday after a long legal battle, and police said the 43-year-old was put aboard a plane in Bangkok heading for the United States at about 1:30 p.m. (0630 GMT; 1:30 a.m. EST) in the custody of eight U.S. officials.

 
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said his Cabinet had approved extradition after acknowledging an earlier appeals court decision that Bout could be legally extradited.
 
Bout, a former Soviet air force officer who is reputed to have been one of the world’s most prolific arms dealers, was arrested at a Bangkok luxury hotel in March 2008 as part of a sting operation led by U.S. agents.
 
Bout has allegedly supplied weapons that fueled civil wars in South America, the Middle East and Africa, with clients including Liberia’s Charles Taylor and Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and both sides in Angola’s civil war.
 
The head of a lucrative air transport empire, Bout had long evaded U.N. and U.S. sanctions aimed at blocking his financial activities and restricting his travel. He claims he ran a legitimate business and never sold weapons, and fought hard to avoid extradition.
 
“This is an unequivocally political decision, lobbied by the U.S. government,” Bout’s wife Alla said in Bangkok, according to televised remarks on Russia’s NTV network. “It has no legal basis whatsoever.”
 
Russia had made strong public statements against Bout’s extradition, and privately, both Moscow and Washington were reported to be exerting heavy pressure on Abhisit’s government. U.S lawmakers also became involved, sending a letter to the Thai government urging extradition.
 
Russia says Bout is an innocent businessman and wants him in Moscow. Experts say Bout has knowledge of Russia’s military and intelligence operations and that Moscow does not want him going on trial in the United States.
 
Neither Russian nor U.S. authorities were immediately available for comment.
 
The extradition came just a few days before a deadline that might have let him walk free. The same Thai court that last month gave the final go-ahead for his extradition also had declared that Bout had to be extradited before Nov. 20, or else be released.
 
A Thai court in August of 2009 originally rejected Washington’s request for Bout’s extradition on terrorism-related charges. After that ruling was reversed by an appeals court in August this year, the U.S. moved to get him out quickly, sending a special plane to stand by.
 
However, just ahead of the appeals court ruling, the United States forwarded new money-laundering and wire fraud charges to Thailand in an attempt to keep Bout detained if the court ordered his release. But the move backfired and caused a new delay, and only an early October court ruling cleared the final path to extradition.
 

Date created : 2010-11-16

  • JUSTICE

    US extradition on course for 'Merchant of Death' after Thai charges dropped

    Read more

  • ARMAMENT

    Russia slams extradition of 'Merchant of Death' to the US

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)