Just when those observers who were expecting to see some dark secrets regarding Viktor Bout's reported relationship with the American intelligence community exposed in his criminal case had given up, the mystery surrounding that reputed relationship briefly comes out of the closet. When is the last time you remember anyone being charged with High Treason ?
The details came to light in connection when Bout's attorneys filed a new motion, requesting additional time to file their Motion for a New Trial, based upon Newly Discovered Evidence, which was otherwise due on January 1, 2015. The motion was "based upon exigent circumstances beyond the control of counsel." It further states that "two critical witnesses to bout's arrest in Thailand, and his surrender to the US authorities, have become unavailable. " This is an understatement, to say the least, and therein lies the possible intelligence connection.
Bout's counsels' investigator, working in Thailand, reached out to, and made preliminary arrangements to interview a Thai Police Colonel Akrawut Limrat, who reportedly was personally involved in Bout's arrest, and eventual surrender to American law enforcement agents. The other witness the investigator planned to interview was Police Lt. General Pongpat Chayaphan, head of the Crime Suppression Unit in charge of the Bout arrest, and arrangements were being made through Limrat, according to the motion.
When Col. Limrat failed to appear as scheduled, and efforts to contact him were unsuccessful, the investigator learned that Limrat had reportedly been murdered, with his spine fractured by his attacker, in three places. Some of our readers will understand the significance of that specific fatal injury. His subsequent efforts to interview General Chayaphan were frustrated by the news that the general had not only been relieved of his command, that he was detained, and has been charged with High Treason. The investigator reported that the general was said to be held in a secret Thai military prison, in an unknown location.
The inability of Bout's counsels' investigator to interview one critical witness is understandable, but his failure to get evidence from both of these individuals, after making arrangements to do so, raises the question of whether there was an outside force responsible, especially one in the intelligence community. Why were these individuals prevented from being interviewed ?
The motion also vaguely referred to a pending investigation into Bout's African operations as additional evidence in support of the motion, which was in progress, but not yet complete. That activity is believed to also involve American intelligence agencies.
The Court entered an order extending the time for Bout to file his motion until April 1st. Where the evidence uncovered in this case, by Bout's counsel, leads is anybody's guess, but it is getting interesting.