The family of the alleged international arms trafficker Viktor Bout is hoping that the Thai judicial authorities will rule the decision to extradite him to the United States illegal, his wife Alla Bout said on Thursday.
Bout, 44, who was arrested in a U.S. sting operation in Thailand in 2008 and extradited to the U.S. in November 2010, denies all the charges against him. He could face anything from 25 years to life in prison if convicted.
The Thai Criminal Court in Bangkok is currently reviewing Bout’s extradition case.
“We are seeking justice, and we believe it should prevail,” Alla Bout said in an exclusive interview with RIA Novosti.
Bout’s wife said if the court deems the extradition decision illegal, the Bout family could sue the former and current Thai officials who allowed the extradition. The list includes Thai Cabinet members, Justice Ministry officials and the head of the jail where Bout was held.
“In addition, we will have legal grounds to appeal [Bout’s case] in the UN Human Rights Committee or in the European Court of Human Rights,” she said.
Bout is being held in a New York prison while he awaits trial in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in October on charges including conspiring to supply arms to terrorist groups and conspiring to kill U.S. nationals.
A U.S. judge recently denied a request to drop the arms trafficking case against Bout and his trial will begin as scheduled, on October 11.