Bloomberg News

Bout, ‘Merchant of Death,’ Seeks to Reverse Arms Conviction

December 16, 2011

(Updates with defense argument in third paragraph.)

Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) -- International arms dealer Viktor Bout asked a judge to reverse his conviction for plotting to sell a terrorist group millions of dollars worth of weapons, including surface-to-air missiles.

Bout, a former Soviet air force officer once called the “merchant of death,” was found guilty of conspiracy last month by a Manhattan jury for attempting to conduct an arms sale with two men posing as members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as FARC. He has yet to be sentenced.

Defense attorney Albert Dayan today filed a request seeking to set aside all or part of the conviction. Dayan argued that the indictment against Bout failed to provide him with sufficient notice of the allegations, as required by the U.S. Constitution.

Bout was arrested in Bangkok in March 2008 in a sting operation set up by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and flown to New York for prosecution.

The case is U.S. v. Bout, 08-cr-0365, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

--Editors: Peter Blumberg, Stephen Farr

David Glovin in New York federal court at dglovin@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.


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