UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — There is no hope for a speedy transfer of Russian Viktor Bout from the special unit of the American prison, where he is serving a 25-year sentence, the businessman’s wife, Alla Bout, told RIA.
“There is no hope of Victor’s speedy transfer from the Marion prison special unit back to the usual strict regime,” the Russian spouse told the agency.
“In order for the situation to change, Victor must receive answers to requests for a reverse transfer that he sent to all instances of the US prison system – these will, of course, be refusals – and with these answers in your own hands or through a lawyer, go to court,” she added, noting that receiving each response takes at least three months.
Wait at least a year and a half
In mid-January, Booth, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison in the United States on charges of plotting to assassinate U.S. citizens and financially supporting terrorism, was suddenly transferred from ordinary strict regime to a special communications control unit that severely limits the prisoners’ ability to communicate with the outside world. Most of the bloc’s prisoners are convicted under terrorism-related articles. In this block, the Russian spent the first five years of imprisonment in the American Marion Prison in Illinois, after which by court decision he was transferred to the usual strict regime, which allows meetings with family and friends, daily phone calls and extensive correspondence.
“It will be a year and a half until he collects all the answers. Then it will only be possible to go to court, and what decision the judge will make as a result is unknown,” Booth explained, recalling that more than three years ago, the decision to transfer her husband from the special unit to the unit At the request of a lawyer, federal judge Shira Scheindlin, who led the Russian case in the court of the Southern District of New York in 2011 – 2012, signed the ordinary strict regime.
Judge Sheindlin repeatedly stated in court that Viktor was not a terrorist, but a businessman, and that he could not have been accused of any crime if US intelligence agents had not invented this “crime” for him and involved him in the conversation that became the basis charges, Booth recalled.
“And when the jury rendered the verdict“ guilty ”under articles where the minimum sentence is 25 years, she recommended a general regime for Victor, only then the US Prison Bureau decided otherwise. And only five years later managed to achieve the transfer of Victor to normal strict regime. Only Judge Sheindlin resigned several years ago, and it’s unknown to whom Victor’s appeal will be received,” she said.
Reasons for transfer
“I want to hope that appeals by the Russian embassy in Washington to the US authorities will help speed up the process. But there is one problem: the decision to transfer Viktor to the special unit, as he was explained in writing, was made in Washington not as a punishment, but as a quality.” measures to limit communications, with the help of which he is protected from committing unlawful acts”, entailing a toughening of punishment,” said Booth.
“That is, in ordinary language, Viktor formed such a wide circle of contacts outside the prison that the Washington authorities decided to” protect “him from himself and those who spoke with him so that he would not be tempted to commit something” bad ” through this broad communication with the outside world, “explained Bout’s wife.
She also said that the formal reason for the transfer was Victor’s interview, which he gave over the telephone to the Russian English-language television channel RT, during which the presenter aloud mentioned the fact that the channel is recording the conversation for broadcast purposes.
“The deterioration of Victor’s position is absolutely tangible: firstly, he now has the right to only two calls per week, and only to family members, and these calls must be ordered in advance, two weeks in advance. We share calls between relatives – once a week the husband calls to me or our daughter Lisa, one day to my mother, ”said Alla Booth, adding that each call lasts only 13 minutes, and not a minute longer.
“Thirteen minutes a week is not enough, it’s not enough, it’s very difficult morally, especially when for three years I’ve got used to talking with family every day and talking on the phone with friends. And even more so, it’s hard after just recently, in September – November last year, we saw each other in the prison meeting room for four, and then twice a week for 4 to 5 hours, “she said, adding that visits in the special unit are possible only through thick armored glass, and you can only talk on the phone that does not work directly, but through Washington.
“Secondly, all the addresses of those people with whom he corresponded when he was in normal strict mode were deleted from the prison email system, and there were dozens of addresses. Only a few were able to be restored: mine, my mother, Victor, and one or two friends. Victor suddenly lost the circle of friends that had been built over the years, “she said.
Help not with likes, but with books and letters
“Having posted a post on Facebook today, I asked for help. I’ll repeat here what I wrote there, referring to the subscribers of my page: Viktor needs your help, and if you really want to help, this is not help by“ likes ”under my posts, and concrete help with books and letters, “said Alla Booth.
“I posted the mailing address to which Victor can send books and letters, if you want to support him, on my page in the FB. The conditions that the US prison system dictates to send books and letters are also listed there. Please help Victor save hope and pep, help him with food for his brilliant mind, share your thoughts and emotions with him, because his life now is all in letters and books, and another is not yet in sight, “said the wife of a Russian businessman.
“Victor, of course, gives the impression of an iron man: he never complains about anything, he always tries to cheer me up and my daughter, remembers all the problems of friends, especially those related to health, and gives them specific advice that has been tested on himself: it takes many years almost without any medical assistance, maintaining his own health in extreme conditions. But he really needs your help, although he himself will never say that. And I can, and I’m talking, “she said.
Viktor Bout was arrested in Thailand at an American request in 2008 as a result of a provocative operation by US intelligence agencies. He was charged with plotting to assassinate US citizens and US troops in order to materially support terrorism and the illicit trafficking of portable ground-to-air missiles.
Russian denies the allegations on all counts. In Thailand, he won two extradition proceedings in the first instance, but then, at the appeal stage, the decisions of the first instance courts were quashed. While still under the jurisdiction of the Thai court, Bout was taken to the United States with gross violations of both Thai and American law. In 2012, a jury in New York found the Russian guilty, after which he was sentenced to a minimum sentence under the articles he was charged with – 25 years in prison.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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