Accused master arms trafficker Viktor Bout, known in the media as the Merchant of Death, and the Lord of War, is scheduled for trial, on the 11th of October, in US District Court* in New York. He was extradited from Thailand after allegedly agreeing to supply arms and missiles to the FARC, a designated global terrorist organisation, to be used against American military and government officials in Colombia.
Bout faces multiple Federal charges:
(1) Conspiring to kill US nationals.
(2) Conspiring to kill officers and employees of the United States.
(3) Conspiring to acquire and use anti-aircraft missiles.
(4) Providing material support to a designated terrorist organisation.
Recently, the trial judge issued an Opinion and Order suppressing his statements to DEA officers after his arrest in Bangkok, ruling that his constitutional rights were violated. The Court has also reportedly indicated that his role in earlier criminal activity was limited to transport, and denied the government's request to introduce his long reputed arms trafficking history, in Africa and the Middle East, at trial as other criminal conduct under Rule 404 of the Federal Rules of Evidence.
We will be following this case closely next week; look for an update shortly. His codefendant, the Syrian-American accountant Richard Ammar Chichakli, remains at large, and was last seen in Moscow.
*United States vs. Bout, case No.: 1:08-cr-00365-SAS (SDNY).