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16 May, 2012 19:39

Bout could serve sentence in Russia - US Attorney General

The US may consider an application to transfer Viktor Bout, sentenced to 25 years in jail, to serve his prison term in Russia should one be received, US Attorney General Eric Holder told Russian reporters.

The US Attorney General granted an interview to a select number of Russian media outlets, namely Itar-Tass news agency, Vesti-24 TV and Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily. Russia’s Foreign Ministry stated recently that the country will do everything possible to get Bout back .Earlier this week, the US Bureau of Prisons announced that it was reconsidering its plan to send the Russian businessman to the high-security Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado. Bout’s attorney Albert Dayan said that he was informed about this decision on Tuesday. On the same day, prosecutors notified the judge in a letter that the Bureau of Prisons was re-evaluating where to transfer Viktor Bout from a federal lockup in Brooklyn.Viktor Bout, a former Soviet military officer, was found guilty of conspiracy to kill US nationals, including military officers and employees, conspiring to use anti-aircraft missiles and selling millions of dollars’ worth of weapons to the Colombian rebel group FARC. He is now serving his 25-year prison term in the US.Russia has repeatedly condemned Bout’s trial on the grounds that the charges were not connected to any crime, but rather were over alleged criminal intent.The Russian Foreign Ministry has issued a statement that blasted the US trial as politically motivated, adding that it has blacklisted the US officials involved in the case.