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Viktor Bout's wife to seek his release on bail

RIA Novosti

21:55 10/01/2011

NEW YORK, January 10 (RIA Novosti) - The wife of the alleged Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, extradited to the United States from Thailand late last year, said on Monday she would petition to the U.S. Federal Court for his release on bail.

Pre-trial hearings in Bout's case have been moved from January 10 to January 21.

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 on charges including conspiring to supply arms to terrorist groups and kill U.S. nationals. He denies all the charges against him.

"In the nearest future I will ask the defense to make a petition to release Viktor on bail," Alla Bout told RIA Novosti.

Jailed businessman's relatives said they considered Russian government to give money for the bail and denied the claims, spread by Western media, that Bout's assets and bank accounts were of $6 billion cost.

"These accounts do not exist. We will ask Russia [about the bail]. We have nobody to ask for help anymore," Bout's wife said.

Alla Bout also said her husband had been infected with the tuberculosis bacillus that he could have caught in Thai overcrowded prison where many people suffered from the tuberculosis active form.

"It was a bolt from the blue for us. Viktor told me he had been prescribed anti-tuberculosis medicines," Mrs. Bout said, adding she was going to seek an independent medical examination over the diagnosis and the treatment.

Former Russian army officer Bout was arrested in Thailand in March 2008 during a sting operation led by U.S. agents. He was extradited to the United States in November after spending more than two and half years in Thai prisons. The extradition process saw both the U.S. and Russian governments exert considerable diplomatic pressure on Thailand.

Bout told RIA Novosti last week that he had rejected the offer of a deal and said he would not receive a fair trial.



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