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Extradited businessman Christopher Tappin granted US bail
A RETIRED businessman extradited to the USA over arms dealing charges has been granted bail and will be released later this week, his lawyer said.
Christopher Tappin, 65, of Larch Dene, Farnborough Park, will be released from the Otero County detention centre in New Mexico either tomorrow or Wednesday (April 25), his US lawyer Kent Schaffer said.
Judge David Briones set the bond at one million US dollars (£620,527) and Tappin's family must pay 50,000 dollars (£31,026) before he can be released, documents filed at the US district court in the Western District of Texas show.
Tappin, the former president of the Kent Golf Union, was told last month that he must remain in custody while he awaits trial over the state border in El Paso, Texas.
He could now be freed tomorrow, but will have to remain in Texas.
Tappin, who faces up to 35 years in jail if convicted of trying to sell batteries for surface-to-air missiles to Iran, originally spent 23 hours a day locked in his cell before being moved to a shared cell.
He denies the charges.
The case fuelled the row over the fairness of the extradition treaty between the UK and the US.
Attorney General Dominic Grieve QC said Tappin's extradition highlighted problems with the treaty which were not "readily curable", warning that many Britons were left uneasy when faced with the seemingly harsh and disproportionate sentences in the American justice system.
Other critics of the 2003 treaty, including Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, have described it as "one-sided", but an independent review by retired Court of Appeal judge Sir Scott Baker last year found it was both balanced and fair.