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Convicted arms trafficker Viktor Bout denied new trial in New York

By Allen Cone
Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout was extradited to New York from Thailand in 2010 to stand trial on terrorism charges in 2008. He was convicted in 2011 and he lost his second appeal Monday. Photo courtesy of <a class="tpstyle" href="https://www.dea.gov/pr/multimedia-library/image-gallery/year_in_pictures_10/15.html">Drug Enforcement Administration</a>
Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout was extradited to New York from Thailand in 2010 to stand trial on terrorism charges in 2008. He was convicted in 2011 and he lost his second appeal Monday. Photo courtesy of Drug Enforcement Administration

NEW YORK, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- A U.S. Court of Appeals in New York on Monday denied a new trial for convicted Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout, known as the "Merchant of Death."

Bout, 49, was convicted in November 2011 of conspiracy to kill U.S. citizens and officials, and selling arms to U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration informants posing as members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. He was arrested in Bangkok in 2008 and extradited in 2010.

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The three-member 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled that U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin did not "err in declining" to dismiss Bout's indictment and also rejected his claim of new evidence.

Bout said he could not have conspired with Andrew Smulian, a former business associate who testified against him at trial, because Smulian already was recruited as a DEA informant. But the agency "saw Smulian as a way to get to Bout," the appeal court wrote.

"We do not agree with this decision," Bout's lawyer Alexei Tarasov told Russia's state-owned Tass. "The U.S. Supreme Court is the sole possible further move."

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The court denied another appeal in September 2013.

Bout, former Soviet air force officer dubbed the "Merchant of Death" by U.S. and foreign officials, is in prison in Marion, Ill., where he is serving a 25-year sentence. He also was fined $15 million. He was subject of the 2007 book Merchant of Death by authors Douglas Farah and Stephen Braun, and was portrayed by Nicolas Cage in the 2005 movie Lord of War.

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