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Federal prosecutors seeking life sentence for ex-Soviet arms dealer
NEW YORK (AP) ' Federal prosecutors are seeking a life sentence for an ex-Soviet officer convicted in a Manhattan court of arms dealing with terrorists.
Viktor Bout (boot) is scheduled for sentencing Thursday. He faces a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison.
At his trial, Bout was heard on tapes talking with U.S. government operatives who posed as representatives of a terrorism organization in South America. He agreed on the tapes that America was a common enemy.
Prosecutors say arms dealers like Bout empower dictators, turning them into lethal criminals.
Bout's lawyers want the verdict set aside and the charges thrown out.
Bout has been held since his March 2008 arrest in Thailand. The judge who will sentence him recently ordered him moved from solitary confinement to the prison's general population.