Monday, February 27, 2012

#ChrisTappin : Another Innocent Victim ?

Retired businessman Christopher Tappin, with his wife Elaine, gives a statement outside Heathrow police station
Christopher Tappin emoting

Bureau readers will no doubt have been sobbing into their corn flakes over the tragic case of Mr Christopher Tappin, 65 year old “retired businessman” last seen noisily protesting his innocence at Heathrow airport before being put on a plane to America.

Mr Tappin, who is said to have spent £250 000 since the Americans began trying to extradite him for attempting to supply embargoed parts to our friends the Iranians, was almost beside himself as he accused David Cameron of letting him down and claimed, with a catch in his voice, that he had fewer rights than Abu Qatada. We’re surprised he didn’t call for an “independent review” of his case.

In case you haven’t got the message by now, Mr Tappin is yet another baddie attempting to evade justice by mounting a PR spinning campaign to get him out of trouble.

All the usual signs are there – the simultaneous eruption of planted stories in a dozen different newspapers, the worries for his health, the giveaway catchphrases that the media are fed and asked to use – Mr Tappin is always either the “retired business man” or the “golf club president”— the disingenuous Wikipedia entry and, why, even a Mail piece by a features journalist, the ever-reliable Peter Hitchens, in his usual purple and yellow prose –

“ ...the penalty for daring to plead not guilty – certain financial ruin and a possible 35-year sentence – is so savage that the presumption of innocence, and jury trial itself, have been to all intents and purposes abolished...blah blah…”

No, no, of course this isn’t really a case of paid agents trying to help Mr Tappin get away with it: it’s all about that wicked unfair UK/US extradition treaty. As the brains behind the Natwest 3 PR campaign let slip, “don’t get into the guilt/innocence thing...look for a cause you can give to the media instead”.

Mt Tappin’s fortune didn’t stretch to employing a full time paid spokesman, so he had to deliver his own lies, among which was his straight-faced statement that there isn’t a shred of evidence against him. Really?

What about the intercepted phone conversations, the emails, the logged calls? What about the witness testifying that Tappin was up to his neck in it all? What about the way it was spelled out to him by the FBI front organization set up to intercept smugglers like Tappin that there was only one use for the batteries that Mr Tappin was trying to ship to Iran via the Netherlands – to supply power to Hawk missiles?

Or Mr Tappin’s claim that he thought the batteries were for the car industry? All thirty five of them at $5 000 each. Nor was he entrapped. Unlike Mr Tony Bennett he approached the front company, not the other way round.


Not quite the old buffer here, is he?

It can all be found in the High Court judgement available after five minutes searching on Google but, as usual, why let the truth get in the way of a dishonest story and the ackers that go with it?

Having told the world that he’ll be a hundred years old before he gets home – if he survives his ordeal at all – watch poor, innocent Mr Tappin change his tune in the next few weeks: he’ll plead guilty to everything and get about two years in jail.

Words always catch up with you in the end