New York Court hears closing statements in "Bout case"
NEW YORK, November 1 - RAPSI. A New York court heard on Monday the final arguments of the defense and prosecution in the case of Russian businessman Viktor Bout, RIA Novosti reported from the court.
The United States charged Bout with conspiring to kill Americans and U.S. officials, illegal surface-to-air missile trafficking, and supporting terrorism through cooperation with the Colombian guerilla organization FARC. Bout denied all charges.
Assistant attorney Anjan Sahni said Bout intended to conspire with the FARC representatives. He also said that the prosecution successfully proved his criminal intentions.
The attorney spoke for two hours and a half.
Meanwhile, Bout's counsel Albert Dayan argued that his client never believed he dealt with true FARC guerillas and intended to sell only aircrafts to them. Meanwhile, the talks on the weapons sale were meant just to get the FARC negotiators more interested in the deal, Dayan said.
The defense counsel spoke for three hours instead of an hour and a half he was initially expected to speak.
The jury was expected to withdraw to the consultation room to pass the verdict. However, the judge had to change the schedule as it took the parties too long to make their final speeches.
Judge Shira Scheindlin is now set to instruct the jury on Tuesday and the jury will then have to pass the verdict of whether Bout is guilty or not.
The verdict must be passed unanimously. Otherwise the case will be submitted to a new jury for reconsideration.