UK & World News
Briton Extradited To US Freed On Bail
A retired British businessman extradited to the United States on arms dealing charges has been released on bail.
Christopher Tappin, who faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted, was freed after his family paid $50,000 (£31,000) of a $1m bond.
Mr Tappin must stay in Texas after leaving Otero County detention centre and his family is planning to visit him as soon as possible.
As he left court, the 65-year-old told reporters he was "relieved" to have been released.
Speaking after the judge set the terms of his bail, his wife Elaine said she was "grateful for the judge's humanity".
Mrs Tappin, 62, of Orpington, Kent, said her husband had been "unnecessarily locked up" for more than eight weeks and "abandoned by the authorities in his own country".
By releasing him on bail, the judge had given him an opportunity to challenge the allegations made against him, she said.
His bail conditions include wearing a tracking device and living within five miles of his lawyer in Houston.
Mr Tappin, who denies trying to sell batteries for surface-to-air missiles to Iran, faces trial in El Paso, Texas.
His case has fuelled the row over the fairness of the extradition treaty between the UK and the US.
Attorney General Dominic Grieve QC said Mr Tappin's extradition highlighted problems with the treaty which were not "readily curable", warning that many Britons were left uneasy when faced with the seemingly harsh and disproportionate sentences in the American justice system.