Alleged Russian arms dealer sure of guilty verdict

Suspected Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout has no illusions about the impartiality of the U.S. justice system and is sure of a guilty verdict, his wife said on Tuesday.

“Viktor is sure that the guilty verdict is predetermined. He does not believe in miracles,” Alla Bout said.

His wife, however, believes that there is still a chance for a non-guilty verdict for her husband.

“If impartial and educated people, who do not believe that special services are always right, are chosen to the jury, then we have a chance to win,” she said.

The process to select the 12 jury members out of 80 candidates began earlier in the day.

Bout, 44, was arrested in a U.S. sting operation in Thailand in 2008 and extradited to the U.S. in November 2010. He denies all the charges against him and could face anything from 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors maintain that the Russian, dubbed the Merchant of Death by a British politician, was negotiating the sale of heavy weaponry to FARC, a Colombian militant group, when he was arrested in Bangkok in March 2008.

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