Judge responsible for Bout case says he's a businessman, not terrorist
Shira A. Scheindlin reveals that Bout had no intention to kill Americans.
Former District Judge who presided over alleged international arms dealer Viktor Bout, Shira A. Scheindlin, told Sputnik that she does not consider him a terrorist but rather a businessman, doubting that he planned to kill Americans.
Upon being asked whether Bout really wanted to kill Americans, the judge said: "No, no, not really," revealing that an undercover US agent told Bout during a sting operation "Do you realize these weapons will be used to kill Americans?" and the Russian businessman reportedly said "Oh yes, I understand that. And I agree, it's my enemy too."
The judge remarked, "So he said that on the tapes, he said, ‘It's my enemy too.’ So he said the right word, but he was not himself a terrorist who, who like Al Qaeda flies planes into the Trade Center. I would always say he's not an ideological terrorist. He's a businessman."
Scheindlin doubted that Bout really thought about how the weapons would be used.
"He's a businessman. So I don't think he cares who got killed by these weapons that he sold. Whoever got killed – got killed. He sold it to two sides of a civil war in Africa. He sold to both sides," Scheindlin said.
Scheindlin in 2012 sentenced Bout to 25 years in prison on charges of conspiring to supply Colombian "rebels" with weapons to kill Americans - Bout pleaded not guilty.
Last week, the US exchanged Bout for basketball player Brittany Griner, who was earlier sentenced to 9 years in prison in Russia and fined one million rubles ($16,590 then) for illegally bringing cannabis oil into the country.
She pleaded guilty to the charges but claimed she did not intend to break the law or use the banned substance in Russia.
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