UK & World News
Tappin: Extradited Brit Jailed For Arms Dealing
British businessman Christopher Tappin has been jailed for 33 months for trying to buy missile parts and resell them to Iran.
US District Judge David Briones, who sentenced Tappin, said he would recommend that the Department of Justice approve any request by Tappin to be transferred to the UK. He was also fined $11,357 (£7,089).
The 65-year-old, from Orpington, Kent, tried to buy missile batteries from undercover US agents with the intention of exporting them to Iran without obtaining a licence.
"These batteries are used to make Hark missiles operational and Tappin admitted that he submitted false shipping documentation to circumvent US export control regulations," said US attorney Robert Pitman.
Outside court, Tappin, said: "I have accepted the plea agreement offered by the US government and confirmed by the court today.
"As part of the agreement both the US government and the British government have offered to support my repatriation to Britain at the earliest opportunity. I look forward to returning home to be near my friends and family and especially my sick wife."
The former president of the Kent Golf Union had fought extradition for two years until being denied a petition to take the case to Britain's Supreme Court.
Tappin then reached a plea agreement that opened the door for him to serve part of his sentence in Britain.
Tappin's wife, Elaine, said she hoped the businessman would have "the mental fortitude to cope with whatever lies before him in the months and years to come".
On November 1, 2012, Tappin pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting the illegal export of defence articles.
He admitted that from December 2005 to January 2007, he knowingly aided and abetted others, including his Cyprus-based business associate Robert Frederick Gibson and Robert Caldwell in an illegal attempt to export zinc/silver oxide reserve batteries to Iran.
These particular batteries, a special component of the Hawk Air Defence Missile, are designated as a defence article on the US Munitions List and require a licence or written authorisation from the US State Department for export from the US.
Tappin's extradition to the US in February 2012 touched a nerve in Britain, where many believe extradition arrangements with the US are unfairly weighted against British citizens.
Mrs Tappin, who suffers from chronic illness Churg-Strauss Syndrome, was unable to attend the court in Texas.
Following the sentencing, she said: "Now I can begin to see light at the end of this long dark tunnel - but remain frustrated that Chris' extradition was granted in the first place.
"Being returned to a US prison will be dreadful for him. He is learning to live with the regrets - it is a chastening experience after a 45-year unblemished business career."
Gibson, a British national, pleaded guilty in April 2007 and was sentenced to 24 months in prison. Caldwell, from Oregon, was found guilty in July of that year and received a 20-month sentence.
After he was brought to Texas, Tappin was held at the Otero County Jail for about two months, where he initially was put in solitary confinement at his request.
Tappin was later released on bail and has since lived near his lawyer's house in a gated community in Houston.
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what do you think?
The only motive? The ruthless persuit of profit.
caution Fred - honest
That is capitalism in a nutshell Fred.
can`t believe he is sending,selling missile batteries to Iran,duing deals with them,to make money!!shame on him!
Let him come back here and he'll probably land a cushy job in the government or something all expenses paid - let him stay there or better still send him to Iran
No shirley read my post - do not judge by the surface. He might have been OK if he had been a US citizen
Seems it was OK for Oliver North
fish you seem to know about his activities and you are 100% right
The naive fools are out there fish
Double shame on this ma - first for trying to buy the missile batteries and then for lying about. The sob story from his family and supporters maakes me sick.
Mick hold on you obviously do not understand how the US system works - think more about plea bargaining and then ask what you would opt for a few months with the option to come back to Britain or 15 years in a US prison
Let me give you all a lesson on US justice system. This looks like classic 'plea bargaining' in other words plead guilty or serve 15 years - some choice. Also I suspect strongly that there is a whole story here so do not look on the surface or yell capitalism. It annoys me that some years ago US parties were in London trying to do covert deals with Iran and I would not be surprised if this is still not going on - by the way ask the US if and where they buy their Iranian oil from !!
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American hypocrisy I have seen and loaded spare parts to Iraq when the sanctions were put on there by the Yanks in the 80`s.Exported to the Midlands UK taken out of U.S. containers put into European containers ,all under the knowledge of our customs . We are talking about 15 40 ft containers. At same time the Greek Government were holding a British driver for transporting large petrol refinery pipes,Americans saying they were for a giant gun going to be used by Hussain W.M.Ds we had 15 containers full of stainless steel pipes. Orange may remove this they did the last time .
I cannot under stand the thumbs down it is the truth .
hes well on his way to becoming a tory MP
Why feel sorry for an arms dealer that got caught ?
When you get caught by US justice you may be qualified to make the comment sorry if this offends but believe me its fact
Oh? OK, so I re-read the news story and firstly, I agreed with the arms dealer, in a sense due to I compared what he was doing to all the weapons sold by Britain and America. Then, after re-considering the details, these clearly state, he was trying to export the items "without" any kind of written permission and also by falsifying documents. That is a different matter, I think because I don't think even the British government or American one usually, if ever, falsify such documents and I expect they have to follow legal procedures to export anything, also. In which case, I disagree with my earlier statement supporting his illegal export behaviour.
Adrian you have never been in this world otherwise you would NEVER assume. Americans have a saying about assuming makes an Ass of U and Me
If you do the crime you do the time.its his own fault for arms dealing bet he would of sold more just for the money
Pure greed. Deserves to have the key thrown away. No sympathy. Just shows though you only make money in this world by being crooked. Is it really worth it in the end
Funny those who live in ignorance apply the thumbs down
How I would love to get some of you people in the real world - sorry if this offends but ignorance is bliss
Only in the USA I wonder if he joins the bloods gangs in jail ?
I remembered when the US demanded his extradition they jumped protocol and didn't have sufficient evidence. This isn't a safe and convincing conviction. Christopher Tappin was singled out without the right evidence. It's obvious a plea bargain of some sort was made. We the US will screw you Tappin if you don't comply with the negligible evidence or you could go home after we convict you with zero evidence.