Jailed ex-Soviet arms dealer asks Russia to sue US

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MOSCOW — A Russian arms dealer who was convicted in the United States on terrorism charges and sentenced to 25 years in prison asked Russia on Thursday to file a lawsuit against the U.S. and Thailand on his behalf.

Viktor Bout, a former Soviet military officer dubbed the Merchant of Death, also urged Russia’s parliament to create a panel to dispel what he called false accusations leveled against him by the U.S. prosecutors.

Speaking to reporters in a phone call from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., Bout voiced hope he would “return home very soon,” if Russia stands up for him “resolutely and strongly.”

Bout has been jailed since his arrest four years ago in Thailand in an elaborate U.S. sting operation. He was extradited to the U.S. for trial in 2010 over the objections of Russian authorities and sentenced last week.