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Resignation of judge who handled Bout case may create difficulties for defense - lawyer

March 30, 4:44 UTC+3
Shira Scheindlin, 69, announced her resignation from the post of judge of the U.S. District Court last week. She is to step down on April 23
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NEW YORK, March 30. /TASS/. The resignation of Manhattan federal Judge Shira Scheindlin who handled the case of Russian citizen Viktor Bout can create procedural difficulties for the defense, Bout’s lawyer Alexei Tarasov told TASS on Tuesday.

Scheindlin, 69, announced her resignation from the post of judge of the U.S. District Court last week. She is to step down on April 23.

According to Tarasov, the judge earlier expressed willingness to review the Bout case, if his lawyers could obtain from the UN Security Council the documents that proved that the sanctions against the Russian national had been imposed by that body illegally. According to the lawyer, work on obtaining the relevant materials was in progress.

"If such documents were available, Scheindlin would be prepared to allow us to raise this issue without any time limit," Tarasov said. He noted that "if there is another judge, it will be difficult to assume what the decision will be like" on the matter.

The UN Security Council passed a resolution on September 2, 2015, cancelling some of the sanctions against Liberia leaving in force restrictions on the supply of arms to this country. These sanctions applied to 21 individuals and 30 legal entities, among them former Liberian President Charles Taylor, Russian national Viktor Bout convicted in the U.S. and his business partner Richard Chichakli.

Bout was detained in 2008 in the capital of Thailand, Bangkok, on a warrant issued by a local court on a request from the United States. He was sentenced in 2012 to 25 years in prison in the United States for alleged illegal arms supplies.

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