Thai court clears way for arms dealer's extradition to US

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
October 5, 2010 21:53

BANGKOK  — A Thai court on Tuesday ruled to dismiss charges of money laundering and wire fraud against alleged Russian arms smuggler Viktor Bout, removing the latest legal obstacle to his long-awaited extradition to the United States.

Bout is reputed to be one of the world's most prolific arms dealers. He has been jailed in Bangkok since March 2008 and Washington wants to put him on trial for terrorism charges.

A Thai court cleared the way for his extradition Aug. 20 but a legal hitch over extra charges leveled by the US had delayed the process.

The Bangkok Criminal Court said Tuesday it was dismissing the case due to lack of evidence and other technicalities.

It was not immediately clear if the decision could be appealed.


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