Moscow regrets the U.S. court of appeals ruling upholding the sentence of Russian citizen Viktor Bout, sentenced to 25 years in prison, and confirms commitment to pursue his fastest return to his homeland.
"Naturally, it is deeply regrettable that the U.S. judges did not listen to common sense and rejected the lawyers' arguments, that the sentence itself was initially absolutely unjust and politicized," Russian human rights commissioner Konstantin Dolgov told Interfax.
"We will continue advocating for Viktor Bout's return to his homeland as quickly as possible. We think that the completion of the appeals trial has opened an official path to involve the convention of the Council of Europe on the extradition of convicted individuals of 1983. We will work so that this instrument is involved," Dolgov said.
"Simultaneously, we will pursue compliance of his legal rights in the detention facility. Unfortunately, not everything is that simple for now. He is in a block for especially dangerous criminals, isolated, in a solitary cell, without serious grounds for this as lawyers think. We share this stance," Dolgov said.
"Today's decision will not stop us," he said.
In November 2011 a jury at a New York court found Bout guilty of conspiring to sell weapons to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist group.
Bout was sentenced to 25 years in prison in April 2012.
Bout's lawyers filed for appeal in January 2013.
A U.S. court of appeals upheld the verdict on Bout's case on Friday. The Russian businessman's lawyer Albert Dayan said that the court should overturn the guilty verdict because the investigation of Bout's case did not comply with legal standards.
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