Russian arms dealer petitions Thai PM for safety concerns

22:53, August 30, 2010      

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Lawyer of Victor Bout, an allegedly world's premier arms dealer, submitted a petition to Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Monday requesting better protection of his client due to safety concerns.

However, Abhisit, 41, said he has not yet received the said petition but has already directed relevant authorities regarding Bout's safety.

Lak Nitiwattanawichan, Bout's lawyer, said he was worried about the security of his client if he was extradited to stand trial in the United States.

When asked would he give opportunity to Bout's lawyer who wanted to see him in person, the prime minister said "I need to look at the petition first to see what their problems are," Kom Chad Luek reported.

Bout was arrested at a Bangkok luxury hotel in March 2008 on alleged charges of conspiring to sell millions of dollars worth of weapons to the Feuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) -- designated by the U.S. government as a foreign terrorist organization based in Colombia.

The court of appeals on Aug. 20 said Bout, dubbed the Merchant of Death, must be extradited within three months in keeping with Thailand's extradition rules, overturning a lower court's ruling in August 2009 that rejected a U.S. request that he faces trial there.

Source: Xinhua


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