Vee is for Viktor

Perhaps it was the grudging recognition that Defenders of the Fatherland are to be honored once a year  –on February 23rd.  Perhaps it was a minor twinge of judicial conscience.  Or maybe something else.  Whatever the reason …

Judge Shira Scheindlin ordered [Viktor Bout] to be moved from solitary confinement to a prison’s general population Friday, an unusual move in a courthouse where judges usually leave those decisions to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.  She rejected arguments by the government that Bout [as a convicted terrorism conspirator] was a danger within the prison: “This case differs significantly from a standard terrorism case,” the judge wrote.  Scheindlin observed that Bout was approached by government agents posing as members of a terrorist organization and there was no evidence at trial that Bout had any connection to terrorists.

She also dismissed claims by the government that Bout could acquire vast resources to escape or harm people, saying the claims were “simply not supported by any evidence.”  Scheindlin also noted there was no evidence that Bout engaged in violent acts or was more than a businessman engaged in arms trafficking.

Gee, what with all this lack of actual evidence, chances of a successful appeal might be looking pretty good.  But before any appeal, first there must be a sentencing.  March 12th … until otherwise noted.  And then the federal Bureau of Prisons will no longer be bound by the judge’s orders.  Should be interesting.




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