4 April 2012, 16:00

Exclusive interview with Viktor Bout for the Voice of Russia

Exclusive interview with Viktor Bout for the Voice of Russia
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Back in November 2011, a Russian Businessman by the name of Viktor Bout, was convicted in a Federal Court in New York of conspiring to sell surface-to-air missiles and providing materialistic support to members of the Columbian Rebel Group known as the FARC. But as it was revealed during the trial, Bout never met with members of the FARC.

In fact he met with undercover DEA informants, part of an elaborate sting operation to bring Bout to the United States. During the trial, the US Government claimed that Mr. Bout believed that the FARC wanted weapons to kill American Nationals in Columbia, and that Bout intended to provide them. Bout was arrested in Thailand back in 2008, and was extradited to the United States two year later. To this day, Bout, who is 45-years-old, continues to claim that he is innocent, and says he fell victim to propaganda and falsified information, much of which was derived through fictitious publications, such as Douglas Farah’s “Merchant of Death” and the Hollywood Blockbuster “Lord of War,” starring Nicholas Cage, which by many is considered to be based on the life of Viktor Bout. As Bout awaits his sentencing, he is detained at the Metropolitan Detention Center in New York, from where he joins me now via telephone.

Mr. Bout?

Hello.

Thank you for taking time to speak with the Voice of Russia today and welcome to the program. Mr. Bout, you have said in the past that you believe you will one day return to Russia. Do you still believe this?

Of course I do.

Your reasoning for this in the past has been that the American Empire will fall far before the completion of any prison sentence you may be required to serve, can you elaborate on this?

Well, this is very easy. If you look at what’s going on in the world, with the kind of, you know, “side watcher,” very quietly, in the kind of limitative situation, we can realize that whatever’s happening now, starting from the global climate change, coming to the Wall Street protests, it’s a part of one current that is pushing up humanity to realize that their survival is falling into the change of the lifestyle of the approach to nature, of the approach to economy, which is a part of nature, and so on. And if you see, actually what has happened to me, it’s kind of the same action, which is that famous “one percent,” or 0.5 percent, against whom Occupy Wall Street is protesting, who by the way accumulated 50 percent of all valuables on this planet, on the unsustainable part of the development. There is a growing economical crisis, which could be delayed with more quantitative easing or whatever, but there is an inevitable crash in the economy. And the policy of the Wall Street organizations, eliminating of jobs, impoverishment, will lead to the enslavement of the population. What you saw in the “Arab Spring,” it is only the beginning, it will catch fire all over the planet. We’ll see what kind of policy this present government, regardless if it is rhetorical, regardless if it is pretext and regardless if it double speaks when talking about what democracy means for them, in one case one thing in other cases an absolutely different thing, this will all lead to the situation, where this will all disappear as the morning mist.

Mr. Bout, do you plan on writing any sort of memoir in the future, or some sort of illustrious literature about you life? Do you have any hidden secrets that you may reveal?

I don’t have any hidden secrets, I haven’t been part of any so-called “hidden” secrets. You know, the devil speaks of the DEA who has now become a well known agent for hire when you need to jeopardize somebody you just give them a call, and they are perfect matches to get anyone into trouble because they are so perfect in that kind of manipulation. So, I don’t know anything to write about, I’m not planning to write any so called “memoirs,” I don’t waste my time for unnecessary, you know, as we call it in Russian, getting the paper dirty.

Mr. Bout, do you believe the Movie Lord of War starring Nicholas Cage played a role in your trial, or better yet, in the entire DEA operation to arrest you?

Listen, there is a problem with my understanding of the English word: believe. I don’t believe, I know it. Because look, even an agent in the first arrest stopped to say “Oh, we saw the movie about you, we are so excited, let us take a picture with you.” It’s like a trophy for them, I am like a hunted deer whom they killed and now they want to take a picture, like I’m some wild animal and now they caught me and they’re going to put me in their kitchen and show their kids and their grandkids and say “Oh, we hunted that animal.” But who in the first place created the myth about this animal? They don’t care. They don’t want to know the truth. They believe what they have been eating or what they have been fed through the mass media or mainstream media in this country. They can manufacture jurisdiction like they did, they can manufacture nexus’s, they can manufacture a lot of legal stuff but they can’t manufacture the truth. Truth is there, and regardless of their opinion the truth is very simple and square. I'm innocent. I haven’t committed any crime. There is no crime to sit and talk [about]. If you are going to apply the same standards to me, then you are going to have to jail all those arms dealers in America, who are sending the arms and ending up killing Americans. They are involved even more than me. And if you feel this is a fair and just, to lock up a person just because he talked about something without doing something, it’s a double standard. It’s hypocrisy. And it’s at a naked stage. 

Have you learned anything about yourself while in custody for this many years? Anything you may have discovered about yourself, something new?

Well, I wouldn’t say that I discovered something new, I maybe became a little bit different in myself, but definitely what I had before, I'm still the same person, which I was before my arrest, and I hope to be the same after I am released. 

Do you feel you were given the proper support by the Russian Government throughout your trial and extradition to the US? Do you believe that the Russian Government could have done more?

Well there is always kind of the thought about that, but you must know one important thing. This is the first case the Russian Government has to deal with this sort of provocation, where the DEA is playing dirty games, entrapping a citizen of another country in a third country, influencing and putting political pressure on the government of Thailand, not extraditing me but extracting me, buying me off with money, creating special relations with the Thai’s, disregarding the court decision, disregarding everything there. The mere fact that the decision of the Appeals Court regarding my extradition was taken during a very funny moment of the history of Thailand. The entire city was in flames in the wake of the government’s decision to end the peaceful protests there and actually in those “clear-up” operations more than 90 people were killed. And the American Government began criticizing the Thai’s very furiously but then apparently everything was stopped, as you know, magic was involved, and that magic simply explained, that apparently, exactly on the same day, the Appeals Court, while the entire Bangkok was on curfew, decided to extradite me. Isn't that magic? Now imagine what the Russia Government did, they made strong statements, strong enough. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, stated Russia’s position, that this extradition was illegal, that I haven’t committed any crime. Yeah, I would say of course, I, as the person who is suffering from this, I would say “look, I'm not happy that I'm still incarcerated in a country that I have never been before, where I have never set my foot in.” They brought me here without my will. I want to go home. I haven’t committed any crime. I'm innocent. Of course, this you know, is my position, but I'm trying to understand the complicity of the international policy and what is going on around the world. Look, there are a lot of other problems. If Russia China, or India, and other countries will not now keep the world from war there is a disaster coming out because there are so many countries willing to start immediately a global war… just attacking somebody because they believe there arms of “mass-destruction” there, they are plotting to acquire an atomic bomb, and so-on and so-on. All these kind of attempts to bring world war will only the end of civilization, as we know it. Do you remember what Einstein said when he was asked about the third World War? he said “I don’t know about the third world war I know about the fourth World War.” Because in the fourth World War, the main arm would be a spare. [“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” – Albert Einstein]

Mr. Bout, have you followed the case of Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian Cargo pilot who was found guilty of drug trafficking in a US Court last year? Did you know that Yaroshenko offered information about you in exchange for a more lenient punishment?

I don’t know anything and I can’t comment on it because I don’t have a chance to talk to Yaroshenko. I never knew him before, but I don’t have any reason not to believe him. The way the DEA operates, they employ the thugs, they employ the drug dealers, and they pay them huge money. It’s perfectly okay for them to do that on their tax book. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the truth.

Mr. Bout, recently you have been transferred to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, form where you are calling me now, after spending nearly two years in solitary confinement at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. Can you describe your conditions now? Have they improved and what is your daily routine nowadays? How are you holding up?

Well, I'm trying to hold myself up as usual. Of course, my condition are way better, after spending one and a half years in solitary confinement without having access to fresh air or never seeing the sun or sky. Of course I am enjoying the possibility of seeing the blue sky through the gated roof but still it’s a sky, and there is sunshine, so I'm trying to enjoy the fresh air and I'm trying to get a little bit of exercise, a little bit of everything. So, you know, it’s coming as normal.

Mr. Bout, can you describe the conditions under which you were being held at the previous facility where you were held in solitary confinement?

Well look, from what I learned from the radio and from the newspaper that I had access to, my treatment was exactly the same as another 50,000 persons in this country who were kept in solitary confinement in so called “SHU” units (Special Housing Unit) where you are completely closed out in a small teeny cell for 24 hours, well, 23 they said, you have the right for the so-called “recreation,” which is nothing else but a little bit more bigger room, but it’s still a room. Maybe with some window that has opening for certain fresh air to come in, but that’s it. Now, all movement out of the cell requires you to put on handcuffs, shackles on the legs, and the belly chain. Then there are three people handling you, then they escort you, including meetings with lawyers or anyone else. All movements throughout the jail are so-called “controlled moves,” where the entire institution is alarmed, everybody has to keep radio silence, so until they move you everything has to stand still. So, in that kind of harsh regime you have all kinds of limitations, including lack of visual contact. The windows in the cell make it impossible to see what is outside. You hardly could tell what the weather is like outside, if it is raining or if its sunshine, so you are missing the daylight. You feel disconnected from nature. Unfortunately, this institution has no understanding that we are human beings and we are very dependent on nature. Even in the Thai jail, they was plenty of greenery, nice bowls with fish, plenty of flowers inside the jail, open sky, so the people could be in contact with the nature and be able to find the internal balance with nature. But here, there is not a single flower, no greenery anywhere. From a psychological point of view it is torture, which is even proven by the United Nations Human Rights Commission Rapporteur of torture, who wrote last year, that detention in solitary confinement, for a period of more than two weeks, is torture without contact. And imagine how many people in this country, starting from Mumia Abu-Jamal, the famous African American journalist, who spent more than 29 years in solitary confinement. There are political prisoners in the United States, like activists from Indian tribes, who also spent at least 30 years solitary confinement. There is an old activist from the Black Panther movement, who spent 27 years in solitary confinement. So there was nothing new that was done to me, it was just, you know, this country showing how they treat the value of human life.

You were released from solitary confinement due to a court order. What was your first reaction and what did that first day entail?

Well, it was quite a remarkable day. My body tried to adapt to the new situation, I was just roaming in the yard looking at the sky, trying to catch as much sunshine as I could, breathing the fresh air. I couldn’t sleep for a couple days because I was excited but then everything came slowly back to normal.

When you were extradited to the United States from Thailand back in August 2011, that was actually the first time you ever set foot in America. Did you ever imagine yourself traveling to the United States in the past, perhaps for business or for leisure?

In the present, no. I never had that idea to visit the United States for leisure because there is nothing attractive there. I've been in Europe, I've been in many other countries, I know a little bit about what the world looks like, so I had no urge to go to America especially with the procedures you have with your consulate and the requirement to prove that you are not pretending to stay there once you get in, these kind of factors are what makes this trip seem rather unpleasant.

Mr. Bout, you’re set to appear in court in two days for your sentencing. A question on many people’s mind is will you address the judge prior to your sentencing, and if so, what do you plan to say?

Listen, I think we need to wait and see, there are only two days left. I don’t want to say something that is not yet “cooked up” completely.

Throughout your trial, you didn’t take the witness stand and you haven’t addressed the court or the jury. Why did you choose to stay silent?

For the simple reason that I did not commit any crime and this is the burden of the government to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that I committed a crime. Whatever the American government used a conspiracy, which is for me a known [?] On this pretext, you can then get anyone in the world, manufacture so-called “American Jurisdiction” and jail him or her forever because somebody is ordered to do so. It’s not a crime committed by me? Simple question. But would this crime, if it were existent, if the government will not, you know, invent it, and try to implement it, uh? So, if the law enforcement agencies have a duty to protect and prevent crimes, when they are actually the perpetrators of this crime, what do you want from me? Why should I go on the stand? What should I say? And what is this relation that the jurors have to me? I belong in their community? I’m American? I live here? Or what? What kind of moral would they have to judge somebody?

Heather Hobson, the forewoman of the jury, looked directly at you before reading the final verdict of “guilty” in the courtroom. How did the make you feel?

Look, this is a separate story, but I believe that the American population is a victim to brainwashing, they don’t know what is the reality of the world, those who are un-American in the region try to be more American than Americans themselves, and maybe this forewoman lady, maybe she has some personal problems with Russians, or personal problems with men. I don’t know, maybe she is a sexist, or a feminist, she might not like how I look, she might not believe me because I didn’t express anything. What should I have done there, burst out in laughter, or started crying? Should I have said “please save my life?” Do they know how a Russian should behave in this situation? Do they know the Russian Cultural background, to judge me? Who are they for me? I am not considering anyone foes, I'm not considering American people as the enemy. I never expressed animosity towards American people. I never intended to kill anybody. And still, because the judge gave them instructions, that conspiracy is an agreement to commit a crime, even unspoken. Believe me, this case in Russia and all other normal countries with normal judicial systems could not be fairly tried, even the prosecutors would never take this file in his hand, he or she would say it’s stupid bull****. And apparently in America, it’s going on the conveyor belt. They are manufacturing every two weeks. The government, and especially the DEA, is catching those who allegedly tried to blow up synagogues, those who tried using airplane models to send bombs into the Pentagon, or whatever, everywhere there is this same very well known script. They are sending undercover agents, who are trying, “please say,” “please do,” “please take,” “please this,” and then maybe after six or eight months finally they arrest him or her, showing to the world that they are fighting terrorism. But who is inventing this terrorism? And would this terrorism exist without them? If American people think that those who are so-called fighting against terror assure their security, it is bad news for them. You can’t win the war if you fight against technology, and these agents invented this technology in the first place.

Mr. Bout, I understand that since you were transferred to the facility in Brooklyn, you have been given Internet privileges. Have you read the recent article about you in the New Yorker, by Nicholas Schmidle.

Unfortunately, in this facility, or any federal facility, there is no access to the internet, only access to electronic email, which can only be accessed through the approval of the authorities here, so its not access to internet. Though, I however received a copy of the article that Nicholas Schmidle wrote.

In that article it gave first hand accounts of a man by the name of Peter Mirchev. He practically acknowledged you have been transporting arms on a daily basis. What kind of man is Peter Mirchev? What was your relationship with him and if he was in fact the arms supplier—

I refrain to speak of someone else, only because of the simple reason that I don’t know what kind of consequences it will cost Mr. Mirchev. Because in America, apparently, if someone is interested, they don’t need much more than rumors to put someone else in peril, and especially while you have this famous new addition to the law, which allows the American President to choose anybody, anywhere in the world, and jail him without any trial and offer no explanation. So I would refrain from saying anything or even thinking about these innocent people who may suffer if you say something pro or contrary to those persons.

Rumors have spurred that you may reveal other suppliers of weapons, besides Mirchev, do you plan on doing so?

Look, what will change if I reveal anything or not. The main supplier of the weapons, whenever you take now, Syrian rebels, or it was Libyan rebels, they will always remain, you know, this present government in this very country. They are trying to blame one person who is supplying something. If there are rumors, bring evidence with laced names, and what do you mean by supplying? Is there anywhere written in the law that transporting arms is illegal? Do you know that kind of legislation? So if I happen to be transporting, and among other different stuff, I do happen to transport, as many other companies, including US companies, arms, lets for instance take those private contractors, who are transporting arms for the American troops in Afghanistan and in the past to Iraq, and now lets say the Russian Government decides to prosecute them because they transported arms, fueling the conflict, in result of which millions of innocent Iraqis were killed, so let them bring this to the court. So what will be the position of the American public and the American State Dept. if for example the Russian government decided to catch these people and bring them to Russia and by the way, just to make sure everything works well, invent a pretext like what was in my case: conspiracy to kill Russians, by attempt to supply some arms to Chechen rebels. So how would the American public treat this case? Let that person be somewhere in Italy, and Russia will send the request for arrest Italians will arrest him and extradite him to Moscow because Italy cannot afford Russia switching off the gas, and it was a chilly January. So, then that person will get a life sentence in a Siberian camp. So, what will be the American reaction to that? They won’t stop yelling for 24 hours. “It’s injustice, it’s a corrupt system,” but my question is, isn’t your system corrupt as well, since it is the same?

You’ve acknowledged in the past that you in fact did transport arms. How much of a contributor was the arms trade to your air cargo business? Some have said that the majority of cargos transported by you were arms.

It’s very easy to answer. Go to any company and ask, “What is your majority?” Whatever people came and said, “Hey, we need this to be transported, we pay you this amount, are you ready or not?” That’s it. It’s a normal business like anybody else. It’s like you go to a taxi driver and ask, “What is the majority of those who you transport?” He goes, “Look, those who are sitting in my car and paying me money and telling me the address of where I have to go.”

How many times did you actually know that your airplanes were transporting arms?

Listen, again. Lets talk about technical aspects of this. If you are leasing out your airplanes to other airline operators, and they are paying you either per hour or on a monthly basis or on a yearly basis, it’s not your responsibility and its not you concern what the operations are like. In this case, when you need to go, for instance, in the same position, lets presume that Bank of America, or previously the notorious Lehman Brothers, who have previously owned a couple thousand airplanes and financing them, in this case the owner of those airplanes, lets say Bank of America, ask them, “Well you know you aircraft was used to bring arms to Afghanistan, are you responsible for this operation?” Answer would be no. Now, manipulating with the facts, manipulating with responsibility, bringing only me in the middle of this spotlight, it’s a simplification beyond any reasonable explanation. And I'm not there, somebody, you know, on the [?] side, who did something. Because nobody complained during my operation over there. Apparently years later somebody said, “Oh, this happened in violation.” Violation of what? Did I run anything without obtaining permission from those countries of departure or from those countries to arrival? Do you see any reports about that? Do you see any facts? Not this imagination of the Douglas Farah, the self proclaimed un-appointed specialist, as well as Johan Peleman, who manufactured different kind of scenarios without having any proof. So, if you journalists don’t want to go into the real background of the story, dig for the facts. Don’t just listen to the rumors. In my head it’s very interesting. The law enforcement in America says, “Oh, you know, we read articles and books of Douglas Farah,” and Douglas Farah said, “Yeah, we listened to the law enforcement agencies.” So there is nobody there that invented that. They all refer to each other. It’s like a self-inducing story.

Back in 2000, the United Nations issued a report claiming you violated numerous sanctions in Africa through your air cargo company in the form of transporting arms. Are these claims legitimate?

The UN Agency itself carries a very big question mark. See how many scandals all UN Missions have with sex child abuse, with the UN selling arms to the rebels in Africa with themselves, misusing the transport and all that, based on what did they decide that I did something wrong? Did they come to me? Did present any information? Was there any due process? Who was on this panel of self-proclaimed experts, again Johan Peleman? In this case look, if you are going to the dentist, you are not asking the plumber to fix your teeth because you need a specialist. But apparently, in this case, there is nobody on the panel, not even one person with a law degree, or at least with a police background. The were all self-appointed bounty hunters who used their personal connections to make the money. And each of them, sitting in the first class, staying in a five star hotel, making so-called “investigation.” But that investigation failed to comply with any standards of a normal investigation. There was no fact gathering, there were no documents provided to substantiate any of those allegations. It’s nothing more than the rumors in the bowery, where people are talking about each other, that’s it.

Mr. Bout if we could, lets go back to the trial. As you recall, Andrew Smulian, who was the South African National believed to be your partner in this make believe arms deal, he was called to take the stand during your trial. Now, Smulian, instead of proclaiming his innocence like you have, chose to cooperate with authorities and was extradited to the United States immediately after the both of you were arrested in Thailand. Do you believe Smulian was working with the DEA before he was arrested?

Look, it’s a very simple question. You saw, if you’ve been at the trial, that Smulian had a one-way ticket to New York like ten days before he came to that meeting [in Thailand] and you know he was coming back on a way ticket to New York. Now tell me, why on earth would a person, who knows exactly what he is doing, have a one way ticket to New York after this meeting on the very next day?

Mr. Bout, rumors have spurred that you are in fact a wealthy man. Your legal aids have continued to say this is not true. Can you describe your financial situation and put the rumors, if any, to rest?

Look, since ten years ago, my old business has been ruined completely and I lost all the money that I had. I am completely broke. I tried to do something else, but I don’t have anything, not even a fraction of those six billion dollars that the Government claims to have frozen in America. I never had any assets in America at all. I never had any money kept in American bank accounts. And these are all false allegations and pure lies which the government wanted to scare the jurors, “Yeah, he is a wealthy man.” If I am a wealthy man bring any bank statements and prove it, they have access to all the banking systems in the world.

Mr. Bout, what do you think the DEA has accomplished through this operation to arrest you?

Nothing, they only spent taxpayers’ money. So next time, the American people will be short of the firefighter’s brigade, be short of social security, centers for the elderly will close, then you know, at least for Viktor Bout, they spent more than one hundred million dollars on this operation, these two undercover agents going to get at least seven million as premiums for participation in dangerous situations, so you know where your money is going. And it’s very good for the DEA, the don’t need to go into dangerous situations and fight real drug dealers, they can appoint somebody, an easy catch, create a little bit of story, make sure nobody asks them any questions, and then you know, get points. You know, make congratulations notes and say, “Hey, we’re fighting the most dangerous persons in the world and we are trying to stop illegal trade.” But it has nothing to do with reality.

Mr. Bout, over the past several years many have believed you were a member of the KGB, but you have continuously denied these rumors, correct?

Listen, when these rumors about my involvement in the KGB started to roam around I even went to the archives of KGB and requested them, and they are actually holding up an official letter from Russian Security Forcer who are holding archives of KGB, stating that the KGB has never employed me. I have nothing to do with KGB, I was never part of the KGB. Yes, I did serve in the Red Soviet Army, as anybody else, and I was an officer, officer in the Red Soviet Army, and I resigned from the Red Soviet Army in 1991, just a couple of moths before the Soviet Union broke off. That’s it.

Now Mr. Bout, you were convicted of four counts of conspiracy ranging from killing American nationals to providing materialistic support to a terrorist organization, that being the FARC. Looking back at your trial, is there anything you think you would have done differently in court to prove your innocence?

Vasili, I don’t think this question is kind of appropriate right now. First of all, I wouldn’t start to comment on it now in order to avoid implicating any sort of appeals or whatever, but, the entire trial for me has a lot of the analogy with the famous book by Franz Kafka, which is called The Trial, which is the English translation. In German, it is called Der Prozess. I had that kind of feeling of Déjà vu, because I already read about that same feeling that I got during the trial. And these are exactly Kafka’s feelings, where you don’t know exactly what you are being prosecuted for. You really don’t understand what you committed. It’s really not a trial, it’s really a show. It’s like a show to win. It’s like a realty show. Here is the guy, lets see how he is going to fight for his life, is he able to convince these twelve people to join his side or is the government going to get this. Or is it real justice? Was somebody in that room interested in knowing the truth? Why did they always ask “do you believe?” What does “believed” have to do with justice? And there is a big difference. I think even the Webster-Merriam Dictionary can determine the difference between justice, facts, and the beliefs. Beliefs are what you are thinking on your own judgments, without, you know, having the facts to support.

Do you think you had any chance at all to win this case?

No, and I told you from the very beginning. Since they spent a hundred million dollars and the DA had so many resources, unlimited resources, how are you supposed to win in court when they put “kill Americans” like magic words that no one in this country, who you could choose as a juror, could find someone innocent if they are told he wants to kill Americans. It’s impossible. It like a magic trick, when you say something, people think like a machine without thinking. It’s like Ivan Pavlov’s experiment, when there is a bell a dog salivates, it’s exactly the same. And the government knows how to press these buttons and that’s it. It had nothing to do with justice. It’s like a science. Like physiology.

Mr. Bout, you’ve been in jail, both here in the United States and in Thailand, for about the last four years, have you ever broken down knowing that you very well may spend the rest of your life in jail?

Never. I have the support of my family, of my dear and near, this is important. I have the feeling and flow of that love which makes me a really strong man, unbreakable. They can kill me but they cannot break my spirit. You know, I'm a different kind of a person, that’s it. Whatever this farce that has happened to me, it has no relation to my internal peace of mind, that’s it. They can do anything, I told you, they can kill me, but they can’t take away my peace of mind, that’s it. And this peace of mind is very simple, I'm innocent, I haven’t committed anything, whatever is happening to me, it’s misjudgment, whatever, but it has nothing to do with me. It is a very simple situation. There is nothing complicated here. This government, want’s to show who is the real power in the world, that’s it. And you will see, that cases like mine, happening in perfect regularity, just to remind everybody, “Hey, you know what? We are the real world power. We are real world policemen. And those dare say something will be facing their life in prison.”

Mr. Bout it appears this is all the time we have. I would like to thank you for taking time to speak to The Voice of Russia today.

I would like to take this opportunity to send my best regards to the Moscow office of Voice of Russia, because they are keeping my moral up, especially Svetlana Ekimenko, with her programs, and Ekaterina Kudashkina, and all others, I would like to say my “hello” and my appreciation to them. And also to your Washington office, starting with the Kim Brown show, you got a good team there, really nice job.

Well thank you very much Mr. Bout, we understand you do have a radio in your cell and your attorneys have told me you are an avid listener to The Voice of Russia her in the United States. Once again, I would like to thank you for taking time to call in. Take care.

Dosvedanya [goodbye]

Viktor Bout awaits his sentencing date, which is set for Thursday, April 5. He continues to plead his innocence despite getting convicted by a jury in November of last year.

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