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Thais to extradite Bout to US for arms sales trial

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Thais to extradite Bout to US for arms sales trial

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Thailand will extradite alleged Russian arms smuggler Viktor Bout to face trial in the United States.

Bout’s wife has accused the Thai authorities of bowing to pressure from the United States, after a new court ruling that Bout’s case is criminal, overturning a decision that it was political, allowing extradition to go ahead.

Bout has been held in a Thai maximum-security prison since his arrest in 2008. That happened when American and Thai agents posed as buyers for Columbian FARC rebels.

Bout was originally charged with conspiring to kill Americans by selling weapons in various theatres of war. The 43-year-old former Soviet air force officer is accused of trafficking since the 1990s, supplying weapons in Africa, South America and the Middle East. Bout has denied the accusations. He said he was in Bangkok to sell airplanes.