Tappin to enter guilty plea over Iran weapon charges
26 October 2012
A British businessman who was extradited to the US for allegedly seeking to supply missile parts to Iran is to plead guilty as part of a deal reached with prosecutors, it has been reported.
Christopher Tappin, 65, was extradited to the US in February after being accused of buying oxide batteries to power Iranian surface-to-air missiles and has been on bail awaiting his trial, which was due to begin on 5 November.
Tappin has protested his innocence, saying he believed he was exporting batteries for the car industry in the Netherlands, but is now set to appear in court four days ahead of his trial date to re-enter his plea, according to the BBC.
Speaking in April, Tappin said: "I'm not a terrorist. I've never had any connections with terrorism and I'm just appalled that things could come to this sort of stage - especially in my life now, when I'm 65, been retired for four years and enjoying retirement."
Tappin would have faced up to 35 years in jail if he had been found guilty before the deal was reached.
UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage, a family friend of Tappin, said: "It is no surprise that Mr Tappin has done this, as the odds are so heavily stacked against a defendant in the American judicial system."
HAVE YOUR SAY
26 October 2012
"It is no surprise that Mr Tappin has done this, as the odds are so heavily stacked against a defendant in the American judicial system." Not too sure about that... OJ Simpson managed to wriggle off the hook.
I'm somewhat confused, as if Tappin is completely innocent as he claims, why enter into a deal and plead guilty? That will guarantee jail time somewhere, even if it's in UK.
AW Employee - Yeovil
28 October 2012
This is why he has changed his plea to guily:
The odds are so heavily stacked against a defendant who chooses to plead not guilty and then is subsequently found guilty that the vast majority of people facing trial in the US opt to take a plea agreement.
Therefore this decision should come as no surprise.
In addition, the US prosecutor has within his discretion the decision as to whether any custodial sentence can be served in the UK.
If the US prosecutor declares following a conviction that repatriation should not take place then it is almost impossible to obtain.
Lastly, the legal fees in defending a case in the US are extremely expensive.
What a savage country the USA is. Land of the Slaves.
kelvin - United Kingdom