UK suspect in Iran missile plot to be sent to US

Associated Press SHARE

LONDON (AP) — A retired British businessman accused of plotting to sell missile components to Iran will be extradited to the United States, his lawyer said Monday.

Karen Todner said in a statement that Christopher Tappin's attempt to appeal his extradition to the European Court of Human Rights had failed and that he would be sent to the U.S. in 10 days.

Tappin, 65, faces charges in Texas over allegations that he offered in 2006 to sell specialized batteries for Hawk missiles for $25,000 to undercover American agents posing as Iranians.

Two other men have been sentenced to prison in Texas for trying to buy and export the batteries, according to court records.

Tappin faces up to 35 years in jail if convicted in the United States. He denies wrongdoing, saying he was the victim of a sting operation.

Todner condemned her client's extradition as "an example of the gross injustice" imposed on British citizens by fast track extradition procedures introduced after the Sept. 11, 2001.

British defense lawyers and lawmakers have long complained that the rules — originally introduced to help streamline the exchange of terror suspects — allow American officials to extradite Britons without having to offer substantial proof of wrongdoing.

However, in October a British judge-led review found that extradition agreements between the United States and United Kingdom are fair and unbiased.

___

Online:

Tappin's law firm: http://www.kaimtodner.com/

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.