Viktor Bout "Merchant of Death" Arms Dealer Bail Request Refused
A Thai court refused the bail request for the alleged Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout who inspired the film "Lord of War". Viktor Bout is wanted by the US for supplying weapons to terrorist organizations. On August 11, Thailand rejected the extradition request by the US, and Washington appealed the decision on August 14. The bail request was rejected even under guarantees from Russian Embassy officials because of the appeal.
Viktor Bout, nicknamed "Merchant of Death", allegedly sold millions of dollars' worth of weapons to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC), an organization the US deemed terrorist group. He is also believed to have fueled armed conflicts in Africa, supporting former Liberian president Charles Taylor, and rebels in Sierra Leone, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The appeal process will take months, but the decision will be final as the Supreme Court of Thailand does not review extradition cases.
Bout's family earlier appealed to the Bangkok Criminal Court to release him on bail in a motion submitted by his defense and Russian Embassy officials.
The court said it could not grant Bout bail because the Thai prosecutors representing the United States had submitted an extradition appeal to a Thai court and due to the "high risk of the Russian leaving Thailand."
The amount of bail offered by the Bout's family was $45,000.
Bout's wife has said he has no intention to leave Thailand until court proceedings are completely finished.