Russian witness to give testimony in Bout arms case

A Russian national will give testimony in the case of the alleged international arms trafficker Viktor Bout, Bout’s lawyer Albert Dayan said on Thursday.

During a New York court hearing, Dayan said that a Russian witness familiar with Bout and Andrew Smulian, Bout’s alleged co-conspirator in supplying arms to Columbian terrorist groups, would give testimony in the case.

“The defense’s witness took part in the meeting between Bout and Smulian in 2008 in Moscow,” Dayan said. “The witness [whose name has not been disclosed] is not going to come to the United States; he is ready to give all his testimony in Moscow, in the U.S. Embassy.”

Prosecutors in their turn said they would seek to include as a witness an IT expert responsible for analyzing the information from Bout’s personal computer, which was seized when Bout was arrested in Thailand in 2008.

Bout, 44, 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. He denies all the charges against him. Smulian, however, started cooperating with the investigators and giving the testimony soon after the arrest.

The alleged arms dealer could face anything from 25 years to life in prison if convicted. The trial is scheduled to begin on October 11.

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