Bout loses new trial bid

Imprisoned Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout lost his latest legal push for a new trial Monday after a federal judge said that new evidence collected by his lawyers was not enough to overturn his 2011 conviction on conspiracy and other charges.

U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin, who oversaw Bout’s 2011 trial, said Bout’s lawyers did not meet the legal standard necessary to allow a new trial.”Bout fails,” she said in a ruling, “as a matter of law.”

A new legal team that took up Bout’s cause after Scheindlin ordered the Russian to serve a 25-year term in a federal prison in Illinois had claimed that Bout could not have engaged in a true conspiracy with an ally who turned out to be a U.S. informant.

The informant, Andrew Smulian, was the main witness testifying against Bout at his trial in New York. Bout’s lawyers also said there was other evidence that undermined Smulian’s testimony for federal prosecutors.

But Scheindlin said even if that new evidence had been known before the first trial it would not have changed the outcome of his guilty verdict.