Victor Boot. Photo: Sergey Karpukhin / TASS
Referee Shira Sheindlin, who acted as chairman during the trials in the United States Russian entrepreneur Victor Bout, stated that she considers the sentence (25 years in prison) to be unnecessarily harsh.
According to Sheindlin, Booth condemned for a crime that he did not even intend to commit, and his detention and subsequent trial were the result of a secret operation by American intelligence services.
“It was set up by the United States government,” the ex-judge said.
Earlier, she already said that she did not consider Bout a terrorist and did not suspect him of wanting to kill American citizens, and she would consider a sentence of 10 years in prison to be fair.
Victor Bout was arrested in 2008 by the Thai police, where he arrived to negotiate allegedly with Colombian rebels, who actually turned out to be members of the American intelligence services. During the “negotiations”, audio recordings compromising Bout were made, which served as the main evidence of his guilt in an American court.
In the spring of 2012, a federal court in New York sentenced the businessman to 25 years in prison, and a few days ago, Viktor Bout returned to Russia as a result of an agreement between the US and Russian authorities on the exchange of prisoners. The price of the freedom of a Russian citizen was the return to her homeland of American basketball player Britney Griner, who was sentenced in Moscow to 9 years in prison after drugs were found in her belongings at Sheremetyevo Airport.