MOSCOW, May 16 - RAPSI. U.S. prosecutors have postponed the transfer of convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout from his Brooklyn jail to a super maximum security prison in Colorado.
Bout was sentenced to 25 years in prison by the New York Federal Court after a jury found him guilty of planning to sell arms to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia. The 45-year-old former military officer has denied the charges against him.
“Prosecutors have just informed the defense and Judge Shira Scheindlin that they have postponed Victor Bout's transfer to the Florence prison,” Andrei Garkusha, member of Bout's defense team told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.
The Florence Federal Correctional Facility in Coloradois a maximum security prison, holding al Qaeda members and other terrorists serving life sentences. Russian diplomats will not be allowed to visit Bout if he is placed in this prison.
Bout was arrested in March 2008 in Bangkok as a result of a U.S. led sting operation. The United States requested his extradition as one of the world's most wanted illegal arms dealer. He spent 14 months in a solitary confinement at the Metropolitan Correctional Center before Judge Scheindlin ruled his imprisonment conditions to be softened and brought in accordance with the threat he posed to society. He was then transferred to the Brooklyn jail in late February.
Bout's defense and family want him to be moved to a prison in Fort Dix, New Jersey, where another Russian, Konstantin Yaroshenko, has been serving his 20-year term for conspiring to smuggle cocaine into the United States.