Time Running Out for Viktor Bout

We still think that it is unlikely that Viktor Bout will ever make it over to the United States, but this latest dismissal of the second set of charges leaves his legal team with fewer strategic options to prevent extradition (it says a lot about a case when the defense doesn’t want charges dismissed). The Thais also just made Bout even more politically expensive to the Russians, which is reasonable given Prime Minister Abhisit’s dependence on Washington’s willingness to overlook human rights issues. From the Financial Times:

Viktor Bout, the alleged arms dealer, has moved closer to being sent to the US for trial after a Thai court dismissed charges that could have held up his extradition. The judges dismissed a case that – had it proceeded – would probably have caused an existing court extradition order to expire. However, Mr Bout’s lawyer said he would try to appeal against the ruling because his client had been denied due process. (…) In August, a Thai appeals court found in favour of extradition on the primary charges and ordered that he should be extradited within 90 days or set free. Under Thai law, a defendant has the right to contest the dismissal of charges, and Mr Bout’s legal team had hoped that if the secondary charges went to a full hearing, the extradition deadline would expire.