Face to Face with Viktor Bout: Court Room Conversations
Last Monday, on October 4 2010 in the Honorable Royal Thai court in Bangkok, I was eye to eye and face to face with Viktor Bout.
Court Room Conversations
Viktor Bout arrived to and from the court house donning a bullet-proof vest amid concerns for his safety. He also had a S.W.A.T. team escort him from the prison all the way to the court room. Fortunately for me, the security inside the court room was less stringent. I did not notice any armed security personnel inside the court room. When I left the court room briefly I noticed that the S.W.A.T. team was waiting outside. They did not re-appear inside the court room until after the proceedings where finished.
Dimitri Khalezov, author of the 911thology, as well as Bout’s DE-facto attorney and family friend led me to the very front row where Viktor Bout sat flanked by his devoted wife Alla. Viktor Bout speaks fluent English with no trace of a Russian accent. Not surprising since he is a linguist. He is very articulate, well-spoken, surprisingly well composed for a man in his present circumstances and extremely intelligent and least of not all, polite. He thanked me for the article that I recently wrote titled, The Assassination of Viktor Anatoliyevich Bout which describes how the media has assassinated his character. Bout told me, “it is nice to see that there are still some free-thinkers that are not brainwashed by the media.” We then talked briefly about some personal matters before I was told to return to my seat.
No Media Circus
Unfortunately I have spent far too much time inside U.S. court rooms than I would have liked. However, I was utterly shocked by the lack of U.S. media and how low keyed the atmosphere was inside the court room. Being familiar with the allegations, depictions and alleged charges as well as reading an abundance of media articles concerning the case, I thought I was in the wrong court room. Frankly, I was expecting a media circus like I have witnessed so many times before in the States. I have seen much more commotion and attention at divorce hearings in America.
Was this really the court case of the notorious ‘Merchant of Death’ and ‘Lord of War’? I was in shock, if I did not know what was happening I would have thought that it was an insignificant, low profile and simple legal case. It is almost as if the prosecutors intentionally wanted to keep a low profile and quickly snatch Viktor Bout to America before more people become aware of the illegalities and improprieties of this strange and very Curious Case of Viktor Bout.
I am vaguely familiar with Thai court proceedings and they are much different than U.S. court procedures but the court room schematics reminded me of an orchestrated puppet-show. Every thing appeared to be predetermined and fixed. For instance, Viktor Bout’s translator could not speak understandable English and Bout asked the judge repeatedly again and again for a Russian translator. Understandably of course, for several reasons, firstly his freedom was at stake, secondly Russian is his native language and lastly because the translator could not be understood and by all accounts was not qualified to be an English translator. The judge denied him a Russian translator which Bout said “was his legal right in Thai court.”
I thought that with a case of this magnitude an importance that they would delay or postpone the court session until a qualified translator could be obtained. However, the judges adamantly insisted on continuing with the session despite Viktor Bout’s obvious concerns and protest’s.
More Court Room Conversations
Later in the court session when the judges left the room to discuss the case in private, I sat in the row directly behind Viktor and Alla Bout less than 12 inches away. To my right in the same row were two international journalists, Thilo Thielke from Der Spiegel and Kurt Pelda from Die Weltwoche.
Viktor told me face to face (as he has proclaimed continually from day one of his arrest) from his own mouth, “that he is innocent and that he is being set up. That he ran a legitimate and legal transport company.”
Bout also sarcastically commented on the court procedures, asking “is this a judicial system or a theater?”
Bout also expressed concerns about receiving a fair trial if extradited to the U.S. and told me that he does not have any money to pay for a legal defense team to even allow him a fair trial.
Viktor Bout expressed pessimism in a letter he wrote from the prison dubbed the ‘Bangkok Hilton’ on the eve of his possible extradition. According to an article by Der Spiegel, Bout’s letter stated, “The Americans have ways to get anyone to talk. Perhaps they’ll torture me with chemical substances, or perhaps they’ll stick me in a camp like Guantanamo. At any rate, I won’t get a fair trial in the United States.”
Bout ends the letter with these ominous words: “If I die in prison, it won’t be a natural death.”
You Got Mail (but only in English)
When a reporter asked Viktor Bout if he is allowed to read books and to receive mail in prison, Bout replied “yes but only in English.” Viktor Bout then elaborated, “a copy of everything he receives is sent to the U.S. Embassy. Since they do not understand Russian, I am only allowed to receive mail and other reading materials in English.”
This is not only unethical but also a human rights violation and I am not a lawyer but certainly appears to be illegal. Nonetheless, it shows that the Thai legal system is certainly cooperating and giving in to whatever demands the U.S. government ask of it. This is no different than a U.S. citizen being imprisoned in Russia, and only being allowed to receive mail and other reading material’s in Russian and then a copy of everything he receives is sent the the Thai Embassy in Moscow.
AK-47’s, C-4 explosive, UAV’s, Kursk Submarines and Granit Missiles
The principal charges filed against Viktor Bout are “conspiracy with the intent to kill American citizens” and the “support of a foreign terrorist organization.”
Let’s back up. No money ever changed hands between the D.E.A. (who posed as members of F.A.R.C.) and Viktor Bout. For the record, posing as a person or organization that you do not belong to or represent is illegal in Thai law and inadmissible in court. Furthermore, there is absolutely no proof or physical evidence of any kind. No weapons or missiles were found therefore no transaction took place and Viktor Bout has never been to the U.S.
Next the prosecutors will be blaming Viktor Bout for firing the Granit missile that struck the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 that was stolen from the Kursk submarine (which was sunk by a collision with the SSN 691 Memphis in August 2000) which in turn caused the U.S. government to panic and then to press the buttons to cause the underground nuclear detonation of World Trade Center 1, World Trade Center 2 and World Trade Center 7; thus blaming Bout for those deaths of Americans that died on that tragic day.
Sounds preposterous, outrageous and far-fetched? Ironically, the latter paragraph has much more truth than the former.
(For those interested in 9/11 theories, government cover-ups or who are simply seeking the truth, Dimitri Khalezov, a former Russian nuclear intelligence officer, explains in full-detail, step-by-step with physics what actually happened. It is by far, the most provocative, prohibited and proven 9/11 video as well as his book 911thology.)
It is no more far-fetched or as ludicrous as the current charges of terrorism and intent to murder US citizens that are currently filed against Bout for allegedly agreeing to sell weapons to F.A.R.C. That would eventually be used to kill Americans. That is the testimony according to D.E.A. agents Derek Odney and Andrew Smullian.
Double Standard or Simply No Standard?
According to documents that I have obtained and that are public record, the D.E.A. agents that were major players in the Bout sing operation are Robert Zahariasevich, Derek Odney, Christine A. Hanley and last but not least Andrew Smulian. Ironically, the D.E.A. agents violated Thai law in their quest to set up Viktor Bout. The agents violated Thai law by breaking and entering into Bout’s hotel room without a search warrant after the Thai police refused to do it.
Viktor Bout is a citizen of the Russian Federation, who is being charged for a crime, but has not committed any crime in America or Thailand. According to my conversations to Alla Bout, “he has never been to America.” Despite this the U.S. are trying desperately to extradite Viktor Bout by ‘any means necessary’.
Another interesting case is that of David Headley, a U.S. citizen who allegedly masterminded the Mumbai terror attacks dubbed 26/11 by the Indian authorities. A team of investigators from the National Investigation Agency (N.I.A.) went to the U.S. to question Headley and were sent back to India by the F.B.I. without being able to question him. Headley’s extradition request was also denied by U.S. officials, even though he is accused of committing terrorist acts directly on Indian soil.
These are two separate and distinct cases but they both involve extradition and are both contradictory. The U.S. prosecutors want Bout very badly because the case has become political. Also if the case is not won, it will cause embarrassment since the U.S. government has been spending taxpayers money for many years to build its case against Bout. Headley, on the other hand, will not be extradited from the U.S. to India because he is a former D.E.A. agent turned double-agent working for the C.I.A / I.S.I.
The point I am trying to make is that in extradition cases, the U.S. has consistently shown a pattern of bending, twisting and sometimes breaking the law to meet its own needs and obtain the desired outcome that it wants.
Viktor Bout left me, according to him, with a famous Russian saying, translated into English of course because my Russian is slightly better than my Thai. Bout said, “the circus is gone but the clown’s still remain.” He was referring to the biased, illegal court proceedings that have detained him for over two and half years and that have separated him from his wife Alla and their sixteen year old daughter Elizabeth.
The most provocative, prohibited and proven 9/11 video: