icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
9 Oct, 2019 07:37

I couldn’t give the Americans dirt on Putin, so now I’m in jail, Viktor Bout tells RT

I couldn’t give the Americans dirt on Putin, so now I’m in jail, Viktor Bout tells RT

Viktor Bout, who has served about a third of his 25-year term, insists he is a political prisoner and a victim of biased US justice. RT spoke to him about why he believes things went south for him.

The Russian businessman was arrested in Thailand in 2008 after a sting operation by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). He was accused of agreeing to sell anti-aircraft missiles to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), extradited, and sent to jail.

In an exclusive interview with RT, Bout said he was sentenced on bogus grounds and that his punishment was excessively harsh simply because he is Russian.

Also on rt.com Land of the free: 4 best-known modern cases of Russians behind bars in the US

“I am here [because of] my nationality. I denied to cooperate with their side,” he said. “The State Department a few years ago openly admitted: ‘Yeah, we’re gonna keep him as an example, as a whipping boy so other Russians are more polite and cooperative with us when we go after their corrupt regime.’”

They approached and said: we are going to get all your family the green card and settle you there if you tell us some dirt about Putin and how corrupt his regime is and so on. And I said you’ve come to the wrong person. That’s why I went to the trial.

Watch a report by RT’s Caleb Maupin for more.

Like this story? Share it with a friend!