Viktor Bout is found guilty

While here in Thailand Victor Bout said he would be cleared by a US court of illegal arms charges. He was wrong.

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Viktor Bout was extradited to the United States last year aboard a Drug Enforcement Administration plane. Yesterday he was found guilty by a US jury of attempting to sell a large amount of weapons to a terrorist organisation. Photo from the US Drug Enforcement Administration.

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It’s “guilty” for Viktor Bout

We no longer have to call Viktor Bout and “alleged” arms dealer.

Yesterday, a jury in New York found Viktor ``Merchant of Death" Bout guilty of conspiring to sell a huge arsenal to terrorists.

You will remember, of course, that Bout was arrested here in 2008 at a meeting with US agents in a Siam Square hotel. The agents were posing as high-ranking members of Colombia's FARC guerrilla group who wanted to buy a large amount of weapons.

He spent two years in jail here in Thailand before finally being extradited to the United States last year.

Yesterday, Bout was found guilty on all four counts including conspiring to kill US service personnel and to sell anti-aircraft weapons to a terrorist organisation.

Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin set sentencing for Feb. 8. Bout faces a minimum of 25 years and possibly up to life in prison.

"As the evidence at trial showed, Viktor Bout was ready to sell a weapons arsenal that would be the envy of some small countries," the lead federal prosecutor for Manhattan, US Attorney Preet Bharara, said afterwards.

"With today's swift verdict, justice has been done and a very dangerous man will be behind bars," Bharara said.

But Bout's lawyer, Albert Dayan, immediately promised an appeal.

"It's definitely not the end of the process. We will appeal," Dayan told reporters. "We believe this is not the end. We have a chance."

Bout, dressed in a grey suit with a white shirt, looked despondent as he listened to the jury forewoman read out the verdict, reached after less than eight hours of deliberations over two days.

Adapted from an online story from AFP.

extradite – to officially send back someone who has been accused or found guilty of a crime to the country where the crime was committed for a trial ส่งตัวกลับ
found guilty – having been proven to have committed a crime by a court of law
jury – a group of people who have been chosen to listen to all the facts in a trial in a law court and to decide whether a person is guilty or not guilty, or whether a claim has been proved คณะลูกขุน
terrorist – of someone who uses violence in order to  achieve political aims ผู้ก่อการร้าย
alleged – claimed to be true although not yet proven ที่ถูกกล่าวหา
arms – weapons อาวุธ
dealer – a person or company that buys and sells a particular product ผู้จำหน่าย
merchant – a person or business that buys and sells goods, especially one that trades with other countries พ่อค้า, ผู้จำหน่าย, คนขาย
conspire – to plan secretly with other people to do something bad, illegal or against someone's wishes วางแผนร้ายร่วมกัน
arsenal – a collection of military weapons or equipment อาวุธจำนวนมาก
arrested – caught by the police and taken to a police station because you are believed to have committed a crime ถูกจับกุม
agent – someone who works for a country’s secret service and collects secret information about foreign governments; an official of some US government departments, such as the FBI พนักงานเจ้าหน้าที่, สายลับ
posing – pretending to be something วางท่า
high-ranking – senior; important ที่อยู่ชั้นสูง
guerrilla – of a military group that is not official and usually wants to change a political situation กลุ่มทหารกองโจร  
count – each crime someone is accused of  คดี
personnel – the people who are employed in a company, organization or one of the armed forces บุคลากร, เจ้าหน้าที่, พนักงาน
federal – relating to the central government, and not to the government of a region, of some countries such as the United States เกี่ยวกับสหพันธรัฐ
judge – someone whose job is to make decisions in a court of law ตุลาการ, ผู้พิพากษา
sentence – a punishment given by a court of law การตัดสินลงโทษ
face – to (likely or possibly) have to deal with a problem เผชิญ, พบ, เจอ
minimum – as small in amount or degree as necessary or possible จำนวนน้อยที่สุด, ปริมาณต่ำที่สุด
evidence – facts, signs or objects that make you believe that something is true หลักฐาน,ข้อแสดง
trial – the process of examining a case in a court of law and deciding whether someone has or has not committed a crime  การพิจารณาคดี
envy – the feeling that you wish you had something that someone else has ความอิจฉา
prosecutor – a lawyer whose job is to prove in court that someone accused of a crime is guilty อัยการ
swift – happening quickly อย่างรวดเร็ว  โดยด่วน
verdict – a decision by a court of law คำพิพากษา
justice – a fair result or punishment from a court of law ความยุติธรรม
behind bars – in prison การจำคุก
lawyer – an attorney ทนาย
immediately – happening right after something else with no delay; right away ทันที
appeal – a request to a court to change a decision by a lower court อุทธรณ์
definitely – certain; having no doubts about something อย่างแน่นอน
process – a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ
despondent – very unhappy because you do not believe that an unpleasant situation will improve อย่างหมดหวัง
foreman/woman – a person who acts as the leader of a jury in court หัวหน้าคณะลูกขุน
deliberations – considering or discussing something การปรึกษาหารือ

About the author

Writer: Terry Fredrickson
Position: Education Marketing and Support Manager