Bout tango dancer not merchant of death says wife
24 / 03 / 2009
ALLA Bout, wife of the notorious airfreight gunrunner Viktor Bout, has said that her husband only “does honest business” and had only travelled to South America “for tango lessons”.
She was speaking at her husband’s extradition hearing in Bangkok – a hearing to determine if he should be sent to the US to stand trial for allegedly conspiring to sell weapons to rebels in Columbia.
Alla Bout also suggested that her husband was only “a pawn in the chess game” between the US and Russia.
US prosecutors instead claim that he should be indicted on four terrorist-related charges including selling weapons to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the communist revolutionary group that has financed its activities through extortion, the cocaine trade and kidnapping ransoms.
Bout has always protested his innocence, claiming that his airfreight business of ex-military Antonov’s was perfectly legitimate and that he is a peaceful man who loves nature.
However, journalists Douglas Farah and Stephen Braun, who wrote the book “Merchant of Death” about Bout’s career said that his fleet of planes carried weapons to war zones around the world.