When prosecutors asserted that former Soviet military officer sold weapons to Columbian rebels for the sole purpose of killing Americans, Bout stood and shouted, "It's a lie!" in front of a packed courtroom.
"Those guns were never intended to kill people," he elaborated. "The boxes were clearly labeled 'For Display Purposes Only.'
"I thought they were collectors..." Bout continued to the exasperation of his attorney. "A small army of collectors, gathered in the jungles of South America, all wearing matching berets and army fatigues. I thought they were having a convention. How was I to know it was an actual army?"
Ordered to pay a fine of $15m, Bout responded, "Can I pay that in rocket launchers? I have a boatload of those things. The judge said that would be fine.