Notorious Russian arms dealer released in prisoner swap for Brittney Griner

Notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout has been released in a prisoner swap in exchange for WNBA star Brittney Griner, and is now back in Russia.
2:35 | 12/09/22

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Transcript for Notorious Russian arms dealer released in prisoner swap for Brittney Griner
MARY, THANK YOU. >>> OF COURSE, THE QUESTION, WHO IS THIS RUSSIAN ARMS DEALER SWAPPED FOR BRITTNEY GRINER? TONIGHT, THE CONVICTED ARMS DEALER, VIKTOR BOUT, KNOWN AS THE MERCHANT OF DEATH, AND WHY RUSSIA WANTED HIM BACK. HERE'S OUR CHIEF JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT PIERRE THOMAS NOW. >> Reporter: TONIGHT, VIKTOR BOUT, THE NOTORIOUS ARMS DEALER, THE SO-CALLED MERCHANT OF DEATH, BACK IN RUSSIA. SO INFAMOUS, THE MOVIE "THE LORD OF WAR" BASED IN PART ON HIS LIFE. RUSSIA DESPERATELY WANTED BOUT BACK. HE WAS SERVING A 25-YEAR SENTENCE AFTER BEING ARRESTED FOR SELLING EVERY KIND OF WEAPON IMAGINABLE WORLDWIDE. 800 SURFACE TO AIR MISSILES. 30,000 AK-47s. FIVE TONS OF C-4 EXPLOSIVES. 10 MILLION ROUNDS OF AMMUNITION. HE'S DENIED IT ALL, LIKE IN THIS 2009 JAILHOUSE INTERVIEW. >> I NEVER SUPPLIED ARMS AS SUCH AT ALL, AND ESPECIALLY NEVER HAD ANY DEAL WITH AL QAEDA. >> Reporter: POUT WAS EXTRADITED TO THE U.S. AFTER D.E.A. AGENTS POSING AS THE MILITANT COLOMBIAN ORGANIZATION KNOWN AS FARC GOT HIM TO SELL MISSILES. TONIGHT, ONE OF THE FORMER D.E.A. AGENTS INVOLVED SAID IT'S A MISTAKE TO RELEASE HIM. >> AND NOW WE JUST RETURNED THE LORD OF WAR TO PUTIN. MAKES NO SENSE TO ME. >> Reporter: BOUT WAS SUSPECTED OF BEING A RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE AGENT, BUT HE'S BEEN IN A U.S. PRISON FOR MORE THAN A DECADE. AND SOME OFFICIALS BELIEVE HIS VALUE AS AN INTELLIGENCE ASSET HAS LONG SINCE DIMINISHED AND SWAPPING HIM FOR GRINER WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO, DAVID. >> ALL RIGHT, PIERRE THOMAS ON THIS, AS WELL, TONIGHT. THANK YOU, PIERRE. >>> AND BRITTNEY GRINER'S NEARLY TEN MONTHS IN RUSSIA PLAYING OUT, OF COURSE, AS VLADIMIR PUTIN WAGES THIS WAR IN UKRAINE. AND TONIGHT, NEW INVOLVING PUTIN, AND WHAT HE NOW ACKNOWLEDGES ABOUT TARGETING UKRAINE'S ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE. ELECTRICITY AND WATER. HE SAID, QUOTE, YES, WE ARE DOING IT. LET'S BRING IN MARTHA RADDATZ, AND MARTHA, CERTAINLY A BRAZEN STATEMENT FROM PUTIN TONIGHT, LEADING MANY TO ASK, BECAUSE OF ITS DIRECT IMPACT ON MILLIONS OF CIVILIANS THERE, IS THIS A WAR CRIME? >> Reporter: WELL, DAVID, THEY WERE STRIKING COMMENTS, WITH PUTIN FLAT-OUT SAYING, YES, WE ARE DOING IT, WHEN ASKED IF THE RUSSIANS ARE DELIBERATELY TARGETING UKRAINIAN ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE. BUT IT IS UNCLEAR WHETHER THIS IS A WAR CRIME. THE RUSSIANS CAN SAY THE TARGETING IS LEGITIMATE, BECAUSE THE ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE SUPPORTS THE MILITARY, BUT THERE'S NO QUESTION CIVILIANS ARE NOT ONLY BEING KILLED IN THESE STRIKES, BUT AS YOU AND I HAVE BOTH SEEN, DAVID, THEY ARE LEFT WITHOUT HEAT, ELECTRICITY, HOT WATER, IN THE COLD OF WINTER, WHICH HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP SAY INSTILLS TERROR AND IS IN VIOLATION OF THE LAWS OF WAR. DAVID?

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