originally by: The Guardian
published: 26 October 2012
The retired British businessman Christopher Tappin has agreed a plea bargain deal with US prosecutors that his family hopes will guarantee his “swift and safe return” to the UK. Tappin, 65, from Orpington, Kent, spent two years fighting a legal battle against extradition to the US where he faces charges of conspiring to sell batteries for Iranian missiles.
His case became a focus for criticism of the UK’s extradition arrangements with the US. His rapid repatriation may partially mollify opponents of the arrangements who claim they are not fully reciprocal and disadvantage British suspects.
Although Tappin has reached a deal with prosecutors, the court in El Paso, Texas, must ratify the terms of the agreement and formally sentence him. His wife, Elaine, said: “From the moment Chris was put on a plane all we ever wanted was his swift and safe return. However upsetting, this is the beginning of that process. It would be inappropriate to comment further whilst the court has yet to establish Chris’s fate.”