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Bromley man will appeal US extradition order

PUBLISHED: 14:52 11 February 2011

Westminster Magistrates Court

Westminster Magistrates Court

Archant

A Kent county golf president accused of involvement in an Iranian arms deal is to appeal against his US extradition ordered today.

Christopher Tappin, 64, of Larch Dene, Farnborough, told reporters outside Westminster Magistrates’ Court that he would contest the decision to turn him over to US authorities to stand trial.

He said: “In light of the strong evidence I put forward showing that agents are acting outside the law, we shall be taking matters further.”

Tappin said the case against him had been orchestrated by US agents in Texas who had ‘tried to cover up’ their actions, and suggested he would not receive a fair trial if extradited.

He said: “I still feel very confident.

“My case is strong enough to resist the Americans and I think they need to look at themselves and not conduct themselves in trying to interfere with other people’s lives in other countries.

“In America, there is no justice, no habeus corpus.’

Earlier, District Judge John Zani dismissed Tappin’s objections under human rights legislation and ordered his extradition to the US.

The order will not take effect for 14 days in order to allow Tappin the opportunity to lodge an appeal with the High Court.

The court previously heard that Tappin was caught in a customs ‘sting operation’ when his company Brooklands Freight Services was approached by businessman Robert Gibson.

Mr Gibson was said to have claimed he was working with a firm in America to export batteries to a business in Holland.

Tappin claims he believed the batteries, worth approximately £5,000 each, were for use in the car industry.

But in fact the batteries originated from US firm Mercury Global Enterprises - a bogus front company being used by US customs officers trying to trap dishonest exporters and importers.

The stock could only be legally taken out of America under licence issued by US authorities.

Tappin faces charges of conspiring to export defence articles without license or approval, aiding and abetting the attempted export of defence articles without the required license and intentionally and unlawfully attempting to conduct financial transactions from the outside to a place inside the US with the intent to promote the carrying on of a specified unlawful activity.

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