2:52pm Friday 24th February 2012
By David Mills
RETIRED businessman Christopher Tappin has been extradited to the US.
Mr Tappin, of Larch Dene, Farnborough Park, arrived at Heathrow at 9.30am where he was handed over to US marshals and taken to El Paso, Texas, to face arms dealing charges.
The 65-year-old faces up to 35 years in jail if convicted of conspiring to sell components for Iranian missiles.
He denies the charges claiming he was the victim of entrapment by US agents.
His lawyer Karen Todner told the BBC it was very likely he would enter into a plea bargain for a much shorter sentence.
Mr Tappin is due to land in Texas at 4pm local time (10pm GMT) where he will be taken to prison.
He will apply for bail but this would not be granted until next week.
Mr Tappin, who was accompanied to Heathrow by his tearful wife Elaine, said he was "philosophical" about his chances of ever returning home.
Arriving at the police station, he said: "I look to Mr Cameron to look after my rights and he has failed to do so. I have no rights. Abu Qatada is walking the streets of London today and we cannot extradite him. He has more rights than I have. If I was a terrorist I would not be going to America. I think it's a shame, a disgrace.
"The Conservative Government, while in opposition, promised to reform the law and they failed to do so and they've let me down, they've let you down, they've let the whole country down."
He has said that, for justice to be done, he should be tried by a jury of his peers in the UK, not a jury 3,000 miles away.
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