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Pattaya Daily News

28 August 2010 :: 11:08:58 am 36832

Alleged Russian arms dealer denies US allegations

BANGKOK, Aug 27 - The wife of alleged Russian arms dealer Victor Bout on Friday read a statement dictated earlier by her husband in Bangkwang Central Prison specifically rejecting US government allegations regarding his involvement in the arms trade.
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Viktor Bout, speaking through his wife, said he had never been to the United States, or Colombia, and had never met or attempted to sell anti-aircraft missiles to Colombian anti-government rebels as alleged by the US.

“There is absolutely no truth in the allegations that Mr Bout was involved in any way in the arms trade, but because of the great expense and difficulty involved in making a false personality for him during a period of over 10 years,” Alla Bout told a packed news conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand, saying she did not believe her husband could receive fair treatment in the US courts.

From 1993 to 2001, she said, her husband conducted a legitimate transport business based in Sharjah, but lived in Moscow from 2001 until his arrest in Bangkok in 2008.

Under questioning by the New York Times, Mrs Bout said that her husband’s transport business did, on occasion, carried weapons for governments in legitimate and licensed trade and that his aircraft frequently carried fully armed United Nations peacekeeping troops in Africa.

Pointedly he also stated details of a visit by Democrat MP Sirichok Sopha during which the prime minister’s close aide tried to implicate him in relationship with ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Contradicting MP Sirichok’s earlier denial of attempting to link Mr Bout with Mr Thaksin, the high-profile detainee said that Mr Sirichok pressed him for details regarding Mr Thaksin’s location, his state of health and his travel plans.

Mrs Bout quoted her husband as saying the prime minister’s close aide accused him of being a KGB (Soviet intelligence) agent, and asked him for details on the number of KGB agents in Bangkok and what they were doing.

The former Soviet air force officer reportedly said that he had never been an intelligence agent and that the KGB has been disbanded 20 years ago upon the demise of the former Soviet Union. (MCOT online news)

Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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