Lawyers Claim Extradition from Thailand was Illegal

by Admin on August 7, 2012

Thailand lawyers of convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout are will be arguing that his extradition from Thailand to the U.S. may not have been legal.

Bout was extradited to the U.S. in November 2010, two years after he was arrested in a U.S. lead sting operation in Bangkok. He was convicted in November 2011 of conspiracy to kill American citizens an aiding a terrorist organization, and received a 25-year sentence.

Albert Dayan, the lawyer who defended Bout in his U.S. trial, told the press he is confident the new trial will prove that the extradition and trial were against international law.  According to Hetq Online, in 2010 a Thai appellate court overturned a previous decision against Bout’s extradition due to pressure from the U.S.

In a letter to the Thai authorities, six members of the U.S. Congress stated, “We find the potential release of a man responsible for countless deaths of innocents in Africa and elsewhere simply astounding.” However, Bout was only held accountable for conspiracy to kill American citizens in Colombia.

Russia has been fighting to bring Bout home, challenging the legality of the trial against him and saying that he is imprisoned in inhumane conditions.

According to Joe Leeds, a U.S. criminal defense lawyer in Thailand, the issue of whether the extradition in Thailand was legal will not affect the legality of the U.S. proceedings. U.S. case precedent has established that even illegal arrests and kidnappings of suspects brought to the U.S. for trail have generally not invalidated proceedings in the country.

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