Merchant of Death
The Russian government criticised the United States for it so-called unjustified decision to sentence alleged international arms dealer, Viktor Bout, to 25 years in prison. The Kremlin has vowed to bring the Russian national, known in the United States as the 'Merchant of Death', back to his home country Reuters

Lawyers for Viktor Bout believe the Trump administration may be more likely to approve a request for the arms dealer to be extradited to Russia.

Bout was convicted by a Manhattan court in 2011 and sentenced to 25 year in prison after spending decades as one of the world's most prolific arms traders, shipping weapons to conflict spots around the world, including Africa and the Middle East.

Attorney Aleksey Tarasov, who represents Bout, told Russian business daily Izvestiya that he plans to launch a request for Bout to be extradited to serve his sentence in Russia.

He said he also plans to launch an appeal to the US Supreme Court for Bout's sentence to be overturned.

Tarasov added that the requests will be submitted once Trump takes office in January, as he believes there will be a higher chance of success.

Tarsov's claim that the Kremlin will submit a formal request for Bout's extradition has not been officially confirmed.

Bout's wife, Alla Bout, said she hoped Trump would back calls for the extradition.

"If Mr Trump's election campaign statements about his intention to normalise the relations with Russia are truthful, we would prefer to deal with the new administration," she said.

Bout, 49, was arrested in Thailand in 2008, after a sting by US law enforcement agents, and extradited to the US.

Dubbed the 'Merchant of Death', his story was the inspiration for the role played by Nicholas Cage in 2005 Hollywood film Lord of War.

He was convicted on charges including conspiracy to kill US citizens and proving material support to terrorists. He denies the allegations, and claims he was operating a legal air cargo business.

US courts have twice rejected appeals against Bout's conviction, with the last bid for a fresh trial denied by a federal appeals court in New York City.