A U.S. judge on Wednesday disagreed during a pre-trial hearing with prosecutors who insisted that alleged arms dealer Viktor Bout traded in weapons, saying that he only transported them.
“This was a very positive session for Viktor Bout as the judge rejected two episodes in his case relating to arms sales,” Bout’s lawyer, Albert Dayan, told RIA Novosti.
Judge Shira Sheindlin also said jurors will have to pledge not to use the internet to look for reports relating to the case.
Russian national Bout, 44, is being held in a New York prison while he awaits trial in October on charges including conspiring to supply arms to terrorist groups and conspiring to kill U.S. nationals. He denies any wrongdoing.
Bout’s defense has submitted to court a list of 68 questions for potential jurors. The questions focus on their knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the case, their attitude toward Russia and the arms trade, and their personal experience with violence in order to weed out prejudiced jurors.