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Arms suspect's past may figure in upcoming trial
Prosecutors hint Russian suspect sought arms deal in Libya as judge clears path for trial
By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) ' A federal judge has ruled that suspected Russian arms merchant Viktor Bout will go on trial in New York this October.

U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin on Tuesday dismissed defense motions to prevent Bout's trial. She ruled the government's charges of conspiracy to kill U.S. officials and aid a terrorist organization are strong enough to go forward.

In separate documents, prosecutors asked the judge to allow evidence showing Bout had engaged in a pattern of arms deals in Africa even though he never faced criminal charges over them. Prosecutors suggested Bout had pursued a deal to sell a Russian-made anti-tank system to a client in Libya in 2008.

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