Who is “The Merchant of Death”, the bargaining chip by Brittney Griner




Viktor But is an arms dealer serving a 25-year sentence in a US prison. He was captured in Thailand, extradited and sentenced; his life inspired a Hollywood screenwriter for the movie “The Lord of War”.


Victor But

American basketball player Brittney Griner was sentenced to new years in prison by a court in Moscow for the charge of “possession and illegal introduction of narcotics through customs”. The only hope he harbors now is to hope that the prisoner exchange come to fruition, for that America should let Viktor But, “The Merchant of Death,” go.

Victor But is detained in USA accused of conspiracy to kill Americans, acquire and export anti-aircraft missiles, and provide material support to a terrorist organization; He is serving a 25-year prison sentence. His life as a trafficker has inspired the screenwriters of the film starring Nicolas Cage “The Lord of the war”.

“The Merchant of Death” was captured in 2010 in a hotel in Bangkok, Thailandwhen US anti-drug agents posed as members of the FARC (Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces) who wanted to buy weapons worth 20 million dollars. He was extradited to the United States in November of that same year and the sentence was handed down in 2011. The now former Federal Judge of New York, Shira A. Scheindlinwho was in charge of the case, said that he did not see with bad eyes that it could be exchanged: “He has served enough time for what he did in this case”referring to the 11 years he has been detained in the US prison service.

but is a former member of the Soviet Air Force and claim that it supplied weapons for conflicts and wars in Latin America, Middle East and Africa. He maintains that he is a legitimate businessman and that he does not sell weapons.

But, Griner, Whelan

But it has a high value for Russiaeven a Russian parliamentarian testified when But was about to be extradited from Thailand to the United States. His paintings, he is an amateur artist who speaks six languages ​​and loves classical music, were exhibited in his mother country.

Both Russia and But’s wife demand they had demanded that he finish his sentence in a Russian prison since his health is deteriorating because, as they denounce, in the Marion, Illinois prisonforeign prisoners do not receive the same treatment as American prisoners. “The Merchant of Death” would finish his sentence in August 2029.

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