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14 Mar, 2008 08:49

U.S. officially asks for 'Merchant of death'

The United States has officially requested the extradition of suspected Russian arms dealer, Viktor Bout, according to his lawyer. The so-called ‘Merchant of Death’ is accused of selling arms to terrorists.

He was arrested in Bangkok last week in a joint police operation led by the U.S.

Washington is seeking Bout's extradition on charges of illegal weapons deals with militant groups, including the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

But Viktor Bout’s lawyer says the U.S. has no grounds to press charges against his client, because he has never committed a crime on American soil.

The Russian businessman could face up to 15 years in jail if extradited and convicted in the United States.