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28 Jul, 2008 01:26

Thailand delays ‘Merchant of Death’s’ extradition hearing

A Thai court has again postponed the extradition hearing of an alleged Russian arms dealer’s to the U.S. – this time because his lawyer failed to turn up. The Bangkok criminal court has rescheduled Viktor Bout’s hearing

It’s the second time Bout’s case has been postponed.  Originally set for 9 June, the hearing was initially postponed because Bout’s lawyer had heart problems.

Bout is regarded by the U.S. as one of the world's most wanted arms traffickers and has been dubbed ‘the Merchant of Death’.

In March he was arrested in Bangkok at the request of Washington, which accuses him of trying to sell heavy weapons to Colombian rebels.

The businessman denies all the allegations. Thai authorities had withdrawn their own charges on April 9.

Last week a group of American Congressmen wrote a letter to the prime minister of Thailand requesting Bout’s extradition.