NEW YORK – Lawyers for an ex-Soviet officer extradited to the United States to face conspiracy charges in New York City federal court say the case should be thrown out because the U.S. used extreme political pressure to get Thailand to release him.
Papers filed Tuesday say the case against Viktor Bout (boot) was brought for "purely political reasons."
The lawyers say U.S. Army contractors had used aircraft owned by companies associated with Bout to supply U.S. troops in Iraq.
Bout is scheduled for trial in October on charges he conspired to sell weapons to a terrorist organization. He was extradited from Thailand last year. He was arrested in March 2008 in a Bangkok hotel. He has pleaded not guilty.
The Russian government has complained his extradition was unlawful and political.