At 9.30am on Friday this week Christopher Tappin must report to Heathrow’s police station. Tappin (it was noted in this Saturday’s Times) makes ‘an improbable criminal’.

Christopher Tappin is a 64-years old retired businessman and current Kent County Golf Union president from Bromley. However he is accused by the US authorities of trying to export batteries from the US without an export license. You can read about his case HERE.

The export was part of a US ‘sting’ operation involving a fictitious company set up by US agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement with the purpose of entrapping Tappin.

The American authorities argue that Tappin knew that the batteries needed an export licence that such a licence would never have been granted because of possible military use.  Tappin denies this. Plus he counters that that as head of a UK transport company that would not have been his responsibility to obtain an export license (instead it would have been the responsibility of the US exporter or their appointed agent).

You can read about Tappin’s case on the BBC’s news site HERE.

‘A retired businessman has failed in his latest bid to prevent his extradition to the US on charges of conspiring to sell batteries for Iranian missiles.’

You can read about Tappin’s case in the Daily Mail HERE.

‘Retired businessman Christopher Tappin played a farewell round of golf yesterday at his local Kent club where he has been a member for 50 years. Next weekend, he will probably be behind bars in one of America’s toughest institutions, facing “the worst of all prison nightmares”. ‘

You can read Melanie Riley, who founded the campaign group ‘Friends Extradited‘, on the JusticeGap HERE.

‘In 2004 I was introduced to the first people to be caught in the tentacles of the Extradition Act 2003, soon dubbed the ‘NatWest Three’.  That they became a cause célèbre was because they sought to highlight the injustices in a piece of legislation that allows over 100 foreign countries to request the extradition of a UK citizen without presenting a scrap of evidence to support the request.  We set about exposing this horrid piece of UK legislation.’

The Nat West 3 campaign was not without its critics-  such as the Guardian’s Nick Davies who took issue with the recasting of the three bankers as ‘“the NatWest Three” with its echo of the wrongly convicted Guildford Four and Birmingham Six’.

‘The Blair Government tried to deride our efforts as merely a highly expensive PR campaign. Aside from the fact that the campaign has been run pro bono, that neatly sidestepped the real issues at play – that unless the Government tightened the law then, time and again, we’d see British citizens caught up in the nightmare extradition trap, irrespective of the blatant injustice it caused, and without the resources to fight back. ‘ Melanie Riley

Author: Jon Robins

Jon is editor of the Justice Gap. He is a freelance journalist. Jon’s books include The First Miscarriage of Justice (Waterside Press, 2014), The Justice Gap (LAG, 2009) and People Power (Daily Telegraph/LawPack, 2008). Jon is a journalism lecturer at Winchester University and a visiting senior fellow in access to justice at the University of Lincoln. He is twice winner of the Bar Council’s journalism award (2015 and 2005) and is shortlisted for this year’s Criminal Justice Alliance’s journalism award

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