By SOF Editor on Thu, 02/18/2010 - 11:44am
The alleged arms dealer to the world, Viktor Bout, could face another extradition hearing in Thailand after new charges were filed against him in New York. The possibility comes after a Thai court ruled it could not extradite Bout to face charges in the United States of supporting terrorism.
Thailand's attorney general's office on Thursday said it could file another extradition case against suspected Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.
U.S. prosecutors on Wednesday filed new charges against Bout and an American alleged accomplice, Richard Chichakli.
The new indictment charges the two men with conspiracy to violate sanctions against weapons sales to conflict areas, money laundering, and wire fraud.
Sirisak Tiyapan, head of international affairs at Thailand's attorney general's office, says they have not yet received a new request from the United States for extradition. But, he says if it is consistent with their extradition treaty and regulations, Bout could face a new extradition process.
"If we agree to submit the case to the court then the prosecutor has to request the court to put him under custody. And, all the process will follow the same as the former case," said Sirisak.
The U.S. already has asked for Bout's extradition to face charges of supporting terrorism and conspiracy to kill Americans.
He was arrested at a Bangkok hotel in 2008 for allegedly trying to sell missiles and other arms to agents posing as members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia, or FARC.
The United States and other governments consider FARC a terrorist organization.
But a Thai court in August said it could not extradite Bout because Thailand does not recognize the FARC as a terrorist organization.
Thai prosecutors are appealing the decision.
Bout was dubbed the "Merchant of Death" by a British politician for allegedly selling arms that fueled conflicts across the globe.
Bout has been accused of links to some of world's most violent conflicts, terrorist organizations, and authoritarian governments.
He denies all the charges and says he is a businessman running a legal air cargo service.