Home secretary Theresa May signs Orpington businessman Christopher Tappin's extradition order
A RETIRED businessman is set to be extradited to the United States over claims he conspired to sell parts for Iranian missiles.
Christopher Tappin faces spending 35 years in an American jail if he fails in his appeal against the extradition order, which the News Shopper learned today (June 22) has been signed by the Home Secretary Theresa May.
His appeal is set to take place at the High Court in the autumn.
The 64-year-old is accused of conspiring to export special batteries for surface-to-air missiles from New York to Iran.
But the millionaire grandfather, who lives in Farnborough Park in Orpington and is the president of Kent County Golf Union, claims he was “set up” by US customs agents.
In 2006, while a director for Brooklands International Freight Services Ltd, Mr Tappin was hired by a client to ship the batteries from the US to the Netherlands.
However, the company selling the batteries, Mercury Global Enterprises, was a fake organisation set up by US customs agents to ensnare people suspected of shipping weapons technology to Iran.
The US government claims Mr Tappin knew the $25,000 batteries would be sent on from the Netherlands to Tehran, but he denies this.
He says the undercover US agents told him it was legal to ship the batteries and even promised to arrange the paperwork.
Both the client, British citizen Robert Gibson, and another man, US citizen Robert Caldwell, were convicted and jailed for two years in the US in 2007 for their part in the deal.