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Alleged Russian Arms Seller’s Extradition Delayed


Alleged Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout has proclaimed his innocence, while the Russian government has voiced opposition to his transfer to U.S. custody.

Alleged Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout has proclaimed his innocence, while the Russian government has voiced opposition to his transfer to U.S. custody.

Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has announced that the extradition of alleged Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout to face terrorism charges in the United States has been delayed.

The prime minister is quoted as saying said the delay is due to what he described as a continuing "legal process" in the case.

Reports say the delay apparently concerns extra charges of money-laundering and fraud submitted by U.S. prosecutors.

It was not immediately clear when the extradition might occur.

Thai authorities had earlier said that Bout, who faces U.S. charges of selling weapons to terrorists, would be taken on August 25 from his jail to a Bangkok airport, where U.S. officials planned to fly him to America.

Bout has proclaimed his innocence, while the Russian government has voiced opposition to his transfer to U.S. custody.

Bout is reputed to be one of the world's major illegal arms dealers, allegedly supplying weapons that were used in civil wars in South America, the Middle East and Africa.

He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted in the United States on charges including conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals and providing material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization.

Bout has been fighting extradition since his March, 2008, arrest in a sting operation in Bangkok by U.S. agents posing as Colombian rebels.

compiled from agency reports

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