Brit sentenced for arms dealing

Extradited British businessman Christopher Tappin has been given a 33-month prison sentence for arms dealing after striking a deal with prosecutors in the US. He has also been fined £7,095.

Latest ITV News reports

US Attorney: Tappin falsified documents to bypass controls

US Attorney Robert Pitman gave the following statement regarding Christopher Tappin's sentencing today:

In this case, Mr. Tappin admitted his role in trying to facilitate the shipment of specialized batteries to Iran.

These batteries are used to make Hark missiles operational, and Mr. Tappan admitted that he submitted false shipping documentation to circumvent US export control regulations.

Those who violate federal law for monetary gain, and in the process put the national security of the United States and its allies at risk, will face prosecution and punishment for their callous disregard for the public's safety.

– Robert Pitman, US Attorney for western district of Texas


Elaine Tappin: I pray that Chris will be repatriated to UK

Elaine Tappin - Christopher's wife of 38 years - has said she is praying that her husband will be allowed to serve his sentence at a UK prison.

Now I can begin to see light at the end of this long dark tunnel - but remain frustrated that Chris' extradition was granted in the first place.

Being returned to a US prison will be dreadful for him. He is learning to live with the regrets - it is a chastening experience after a 45-year unblemished business career ...

I pray that the US and UK authorities between them will expedite Chris' repatriation to Britain - so we, and his friends, are able to visit him in prison.

– elaine tappin

Elaine, who suffers from chronic illness Churg-Strauss Syndrome, was unable to attend the court in Texas.


Charity: Tappin could face 'terrifying' conditions in jail

The head of the UK charity Prisoners Abroad has said she is concerned that Christopher Tappin may face "dangerous and terrifying conditions" if he is made to spend his sentence at a prison in the US:

While the situation is not the same in every American prison, our staff have to deal daily with the devastating emotional and psychological effects on people and their families of the struggle to survive in often dangerous and terrifying conditions in United States prisons ...

Prisoners Abroad supports and advises many prisoners and their families through the transfer application process, and recognises that serving a sentence on home soil can spare prisoners and their families great emotional strain.

– Pauline Crowe, Chief Executive, Prisoners Abroad

Christopher Tappin given 33-month sentence by US court

Extradited British businessman Christopher Tappin has been given a 33-month prison sentence for arms dealing after striking a deal with prosecutors in the US.

Tappin, 66, from Orpinton in Kent, pleaded guilty in November to one count of aiding and abetting the illegal export of defence articles in a plea bargain to lower his sentence.

Christopher Tappin
Christopher Tappin Credit: ITV News

He is likely to serve at least some of his sentence in the US while he awaits permission for a transfer to a prison in the UK.

Tappin previously denied attempting to sell batteries for surface-to-air missiles which were to be shipped from the US to Tehran via the Netherlands.