Sunday, June 19, 2011

Christopher Tappin 'Arms deal' golf boss will be extradited to US for trial after 'trying to sell missile parts to Iran' - 19th June 2011

A golf society president accused of trying to sell missile parts to Iran is

to be sent to America to face trial after the Home Secretary signed his extradition order.

The case of millionaire Christopher Tappin, who was arrested by the
Metropolitan Police last year on US instructions, has reignited the long-running row over the cross-Atlantic transfer of suspects.

Last night, MPs and lawyers said the extradition agreement between the UK and US was one-sided, unfairly serving the interests of America.

Mr Tappin’s cause has been taken up by Karen Todner, the solicitor fighting to stop the extradition of Asperger’s syndrome sufferer Gary McKinnon, who faces extradition for hacking into Pentagon computers.

Campaigners want a moratorium on the transfer of suspects until a Government review on the fairness of the law concludes in September.

But The Mail on Sunday has seen a letter from Home Secretary Theresa May to retired businessman Mr Tappin saying that the Government must
honour its international obligations.

Even if there were to be a change in the law it would have no bearing on his case, she says.

US prosecutors accuse the 64-year-old, of Orpington, Kent, of helping to buy five industrial batteries, which were being shipped from America to Tehran. He claims he thought they were for use in the car industry, but the Americans say they were a ¬component of its Hawk Air Defence Missile which were being sold without government permission.

If found guilty, Mr Tappin faces up to 35 years in jail, but he claims he was entrapped by US agents and can prove the -batteries cannot be used in the way the Americans allege.

Keith Vaz MP, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said: ‘I am concerned that someone is being extradited, bearing in mind the current state of the law and the dissatisfaction of all political parties of its interpretation.’ Read More