Wife of extradited businessman Christopher Tappin speaks of 'hurtful' farewell
After fighting a lengthy legal battle, retired businessman Christopher Tappin was extradited to America on Friday. DAVID MILLS spoke to his devastated wife.
THE sick wife of a retired businessman extradited to America has described the "hurtful" moment she said farewell to her "magnificent" husband.
Elaine and Christopher Tappin said their goodbyes in the privacy of a small room at Heathrow police station on Friday.
Mr Tappin, 65, was then flown to Houston, Texas, to face charges of attempting to sell batteries for missile parts to Iran.
The golf loving father-of-two from Orpington is being held in solitary confinement, reportedly at his request, at the Otero County Prison Facility in New Mexico.
He is due to appear in an El Paso court today and will apply for bail this week.
His wife Elaine, 62, will also address MPs on a Home Affairs Select Committee this morning about the impact of the ordeal on her family.
Mrs Tappin, who suffers from a chronic autoimmune disorder, said she had not heard from her husband and told News Shopper that she was still feeling "raw" from Friday's events.
She said: "It was surreal and hurtful. Chris was absolutely brilliant, he was magnificent.
"He was calm and determined but nevertheless he was shocked.
"It's not something you ever think will happen to you in your private life in the suburbs."
Mrs Tappin said she had spent the weekend with her family and was trying to remain positive.
She said: "They've been very strong for me.
"There's nothing we can do but stay positive for Chris's sake and not panic.
"I don't really know whether I'm coming or going."
She added: "I've not heard from Chris yet.
"The only way he can contact us is by ringing here but I don't know if he can.
"I honestly don't know if he will get bail, but of course I really hope he does.
"If he gets bail, once he's settled and let's me know, I will go over straight away."
Tappin's US lawyer Dan Cogdell said he would "vigorously argue" for his client to be released on bail.
Before being forced to leave Britain under the controversial UK-US treaty following a two year legal battle, Mr Tappin said he had been failed by the government, branding the decision to extradite him as a "disgrace".
His MP Jo Johnson, Conservative, said: "I don't think it's fair to blame the government. It was the last government that introduced the treaty. David Cameron has to follow certain processes. He can't throw out an international treaty without any regard to process."
Mr Johnson added: "We are now in the hands of the US system. My hope is given Mr Tappin's age, the fact he has a sick wife and he has no previous convictions would support a bail application. It would be literally outrageous if he were not given bail."
Millionaire Mr Tappin, the former president of the Kent Golf Union, is putting his Farnborough Park home up for sale to pay for his legal bills in America.
Mr Tappin, who denies the charges, faces up to 35 years in jail if convicted.