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UPDATE: Christopher Tappin's wife claims plea change is 'beginning' of husband's return

PUBLISHED: 12:37 26 October 2012

Retired businessman Christopher Tappin, with his wife Elaine. Picture: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

Retired businessman Christopher Tappin, with his wife Elaine. Picture: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

PA Archive/Press Association Images

The wife of Orpington businessman Christopher Tappin has spoken after it was revealed her husband will change his plea to guilty in US court on Thursday after striking a deal with prosecutors.

The 65-year-old, of Larch Dene, Farnborough Park, previously denied attempting to sell 50 Oxide batteries for Iranian surface-to-air milles.

Speaking earlier today, Elaine Tappin said: “From the moment Chris was put on a plane all we ever wanted was his swift and safe return.

“However upsetting, this is the beginning of that process. It would be inappropriate to comment further whilst the court has yet to establish Chris’ fate.”

If the judge accepts his terms, Mr Tappin will face a period of several weeks for pre-sentencing assessment before he is recalled for sentencing.

The former director of Surrey based Brooklands International Freight Services was arrested in 2010 and fought extradition for two years, arriving in America in February.

Earlier this year he spent 60 days in Otero County prison, in New Mexico, before he was released on bail in April and is now living in Houston, Texas.

The terms of his bail require him to wear an electronic tag, surrender his passport and only travel between El Paso and Houston, where he is staying with one of his lawyers.

Mr Tappin was formerly the president of Kent Golf Union who refused to comment on his change of plea.

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