Colombia leader says arms dealer Bout should face jail

16th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos hailed the extradition Tuesday of suspected Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who allegedly had tried to peddle his illicit wares to leftist rebels in the war-torn Andean country.

"If he was an arms dealer it is important he pays in prison. It is secondary whether it's a prison in (the United States) or Colombia, but he should pay," Santos told reporters.

Bout, who has been dubbed the "Merchant of Death," was being flown Tuesday from Thailand to face trial in the United States despite fierce opposition from Moscow.

The 43-year-old former Soviet air force pilot had been fighting extradition on terrorism charges since his March 2008 arrest after a sting operation in Bangkok involving undercover US agents posing as Colombian FARC rebels who have been fighting for decades to overthrow the government.

Bout is accused of trafficking weapons to conflict hot spots in Africa, the Middle East and South America.

© 2010 AFP

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