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Bout's Wife 'Pressured' in New York

The wife of Viktor Bout, the suspected Russian arms merchant awaiting trial in the United States, said she was subjected to "psychological pressure" when she arrived in New York.

Alla Bout told NTV television on Friday that she was questioned by people in plainclothes when she flew into New York, describing it as strong "psychological pressure."

Bout was arrested in Thailand in 2008 in a U.S.-led sting on charges of conspiring to sell weapons to a terrorist group. He fought extradition, but was sent in November to New York.

His preliminary hearing has been pushed back from Monday to Jan. 21.

Meanwhile, lawyer Robert Amsterdam told The Daily Telegraph in an interview published Sunday that Viktor Bout possessed "limitless" information on Russia's behind-the-scene dealings.

"He is connected to Russia's shadow state and the most powerful elements of the power elite," said Amsterdam, whose clients include former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

(AP, MT)

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