NY trial starts for Soviet officer in weapons case

AP News
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Posted: Oct 11, 2011 2:30 AM
NY trial starts for Soviet officer in weapons case

Jury selection is set to begin in the New York City arms sale trial of a former Soviet military officer known as the Merchant of Death.

The trial of Viktor Bout (boot) is scheduled to start Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan.

Bout was brought to the United States last year after he was captured in Thailand in 2008. U.S. narcotics agents had lured him there for a business meeting that put him face to face with U.S. operatives posing as anti-American rebels. He was arrested after the meeting, setting off a two-year struggle between the U.S. and Russia that ended when he was transferred to New York for trial.

Bout has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges that carry a potential life sentence.