New York prosecutors see no reason to doubt the jury verdict in the case of convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, defense team member Viktor Garkusha said on Monday.
On November 12 the defense team led by lawyer Albert Dayan said it appealed the verdict citing ‘prejudice’ on the part of at least one juror.
As a prospective juror in the trial of Viktor Bout, Heather Hobson, 42, told defense lawyers and prosecutors that she knew nothing of Bout’s reputed exploits as an international arms dealer. Later, she unanimously agreed that Bout was guilty of conspiracy to kill Americans, to acquire and use anti-aircraft missiles and to provide material support to terrorists.
However, it turned out that the juror’s knowledge of Bout was more expansive than she had realized. Hobson admitted in a post-verdict interview with the New York Times that she had seen the “terrible” film “Lord of War,” which is believed to have been inspired by Bout, but had no idea it was about the defendant.
“In their response prosecutors said a single newspaper publication is not enough for retrial and cites precedents when trials were held with at least three of 12 jurors having grounds for a biased verdict,” Garkusha said.
Bout’s sentence is expected to be announced on February 8. He could receive a life behind bars.