Friday, February 24, 2012

#ChrisTappin Betrayed By #Cameron The Poodle Of America

A Briton being extradited to the US for allegedly selling batteries for Iranian missiles described his treatment as "a disgrace" as he arrived at Heathrow.

Retired businessman Christopher Tappin had said he was leaving the UK feeling he had fewer rights than a terrorist.

Mr Tappin, 65, from London, is being flown from Heathrow Airport to El Paso, Texas, escorted by US marshals.

Dan Cogdell, Mr Tappin's lawyer in the US, said he would "vigorously argue" for his client to be released on bail.

"There is no reasonable basis to believe that he is a flight risk or a danger. He is a 66-year-old respected businessman with no criminal record whatsoever," Mr Cogdell told BBC News.

Mr Tappin, of Orpington, south-east London, has fought against extradition through the British courts after being charged in the US with conspiring to export batteries which could be used in Hawk air defence missiles.

He faces a trial in El Paso and a possible 35-year jail sentence - but says that he is the victim of entrapment.

British judges say the extradition is lawful and the European Court of Human Rights has refused to intervene.

Mr Tappin's lawyer, Karen Todner, said it was "very likely" her client would now enter into a plea agreement to reduce any sentence that may be imposed.

Lawyer Karen Todner: "He will be wearing an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs"

"If Mr Tappin does not enter into a plea agreement and is found guilty he will have to serve the whole sentence in America, which may actually effectively be the rest of his life, rather than serving a sentence in the UK, therefore I think it's very, very likely that he will enter into a plea agreement," she said.

Last week the European Court of Human Rights refused to intervene in his case. Mr Tappin, a former president of the Kent Golf Society, was ordered to present himself to Heathrow Airport to be taken to the US for trial.

He was seen departing from his house around 08:00 GMT and arrived at Heathrow police station accompanied by his wife Elaine.

Shortly after 10.30am, Mr Tappin's lawyer said British extradition officers had taken Mr Tappin to a plane where he was being handed over to US marshals. The flight was due to land in Texas around 16:00 local time (23:00 GMT) more