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Extradited Christopher Tappin arrives in US
A RETIRED British businessman who has been extradited to the United States for alleged arms dealing, is spending his first day in US custody after arriving in Texas.
Christopher Tappin, of Larch Dene, Farnborough Park, landed in Houston at 11pm GMT yesterday after flying in from Heathrow, according to reports.
He will make his first court appearance in El Paso on Monday and could face up to 35 years in jail if convicted of selling batteries for Iranian missiles.
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 yesterday, Tappin said he had been failed by the Government, branding the decision to extradite him as a "disgrace".
He argued that the radical cleric Abu Qatada, who poses a threat to the UK's national security, had more rights than him after being allowed to stay in the UK.
Mr Tappin said: "I look to Mr Cameron (Prime Minister David 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 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."
Mr Tappin denies attempting to sell batteries for surface-to-air missiles which were to be shipped from the US to Tehran via the Netherlands.
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. But magistrates and the High Court backed his extradition and he exhausted his appeal options earlier this month when a last-ditch plea to human rights judges was rejected.