Russian businessman Viktor Bout, who is serving 25 years in a US federal prison on arms smuggling charges, has told Sputnik of an initial shock of seeing his family for the first time in seven yearsMOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 20th September, 2019) Russian businessman Viktor Bout, who is serving 25 years in a US Federal prison on arms smuggling charges, has told Sputnik of an initial shock of seeing his family for the first time in seven years.
Alla Bout arrived in the United States with her daughter on September 9 and will stay in the country for six weeks. The Bouts first met in the Marion prison in Illinois on Wednesday. They last saw each other during his conviction at a New York court in 2012.
"We haven't seen one another in a long time. A reaction like this is possible on the first day. I hardly recognized my daughter. Alla changed too ... But I think I've already got over the initial shock of seeing my family after so many years," Bout said.
He said seeing his wife after all these years felt like a first date. The first visit lasted four hours. The family were allowed to hug and kiss one another. On Thursday, he said he did a short yoga stretch with his daughter to warm up.
The 52-year-old told Sputnik that he followed events in Russia and was encouraged by its growing military power. He added he hoped that after revamping the military President Vladimir Putin would "deal with economy with the same determination."
Bout joked that a stronger military posture would speed up his release.
"Hopefully they will not forget to discuss bringing war prisoners home when our enemies sign their capitulation," he added with a laugh.
Bout was arrested in a US sting operation in Bangkok in 2008 and extradited two years later to face charges of conspiring to kill Americans and of supplying Colombian rebels with weapons. He denied all accusations.