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Moscow Will Ask U.S. to Return Convicted Arms Dealer Bout to Russia

Apichart Weerawong / AP

The Kremlin will formally request that the United States extradite a convicted arms dealer back to Russia, the Izvestia newspaper reported Thursday.

The request will ask the U.S. government to allow Viktor Bout, convicted on terrorism-related charges, to serve out his 25-year sentence in Russia under the 1983 Strasbourg Convention.

Bout also plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to have his sentence overturned after the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in January, Izvestia reported.

The Tajik-born arms dealer has previously pleaded for Trump to intervene in his case, which he claims is “politically motivated.”

Read more from The Moscow Times: How a diamond heist and Russian gun smuggling lead to Donald Trump.

"We would like to deal with the new administration,” Bout's wife Alla told the newspaper. “We shall see if there's any real basis to Trump's claims that he would like to improve ties with Russia,” she said.

Bout was arrested in Thailand in 2008 and extradited to the United States in a bitter legal battle. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2015 for providing support to a foreign terrorist organization after trying to sell arms to Colombian FARC rebels.

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