Nigel Farage vows to fight against the extradition of Chris Tappin
By Marijke Cox, Reporter Sunday, March 4, 2012
Pair have been friends for 40 years
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The leader of Ukip Nigel Farage has condemned the extradition of close friend Christopher Tappin and vowed to break the “stony wall of silence” put up by the Government.
Mr Farage, who has known the retired businessman and his family for 40 years, said Mr Tappin’s extradition was nothing more than kidnap by United States officials.
The 65-year-old, from Orpington, was flown to Texas this week after a last ditch plea to block the extradition. He is being kept in solitary confinement in an El Paso jail – something he is believed to have requested – and denied contact with his family.
MEP for the south east Mr Farage said: “I saw Chris last week. He is keeping it together in that stoic British way, but he is absolutely terrified. This is something physically and mentally draining.”
Mr Tappin, who is a former president of the Kent Golf Union, is accused of conspiring to export batteries for Iranian missiles, something he vehemently denies.
He admits arranging the shipment of the batteries but states he is the victim of a sting by the FBI framing him for conspiracy.
The shipping transaction to Iran, which was undertaken on behalf of a US government front company by Mr Tappin, made him just $500.
Mr Farage, from Sevenoaks, questioned why a man with no previous convictions would take such a risk.
“It is impossible for me to believe that a wealthy man, on the verge of retirement, would have risked everything for such a paltry sum. I have always known him to be a man of the highest integrity.”
Mr Farage said the US had no evidence to prove the allegations and claimed Mr Tappin had had no opportunity to speak to UK authorities about the charges.
“This is all a big shock. He is one of the most lovely and respectable people I’ve ever met,” said Mr Farage.
“There is a lot of anger about this case. People are asking the question how somebody can be deported from this country without any evidence and without any opportunity to explain.
“I’m asking myself, is this kidnap? The extradition treaty needs to be amended.
“There has been a wall of stony silence from Home Secretary Theresa May and David Cameron. (The Prime Minister) did mention it in the dispatch box last week but that’s about it. He is about to go to Washington and during his visit the extradition treaty needs to be addressed.”
Mr Tappin made a brief preliminary appearance in a US court this week ahead of his bail hearing on Friday.
Speaking ahead of the hearing, Mr Farage, who is a member of West Kent Golf Club with Mr Tappin, said he believed it unlikely his friend would get bail.
“The US has a plea bargaining system. If someone pleads not guilty they could spend years in prison waiting for a trial, there are huge legal costs and they could end up getting life imprisonment. If they plead guilty, however, they can get out in two years.
“It’s not a fair judicial system and I think it is unlikely he will get bail due to this as I imagine they will make his stay as unpleasant as possible to make him plead guilty.
“It’s terrible - Chris is 65, he’s never been in trouble with the law and he’s not a high ‘flight risk’ as they call it in America.”
He added: “If this does go to trial it should be carried out in the UK.”
Mr Farage said the secondary issue surrounding the case was the America prison system.
“It is absolutely brutal. They are violent places.”
He highlighted the case of Allen Stanford, who is awaiting trial in a US prison. The cricket tycoon, who is accused of masterminding a $7 billion fraud, was beaten by jail mates so badly he was left with a serious brain injury.
Mr Farage said: “We need to raise the profile of this case, people are so angry. This extradition system, which was brought in after the Twin Towers, needs to be seriously looked at.”
Mr Tappin’s wife Elaine broke down this week in front of the Home Affairs Select Committee and accused the British courts of failing her husband.
Speaking in the House of Commons, she said: “Shouldn’t it be a basic requirement that a proper case be made out against Chris in a UK court before subjecting him to total disruption to his life, and freedom, that extradition entails? Isn’t that the cornerstone of British justice?”
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Thank you Kent News for allowing public comment on the shameful treatment of Stephen Tappin, breaking the Govt' s wall of silence. If Mr Tappin dies, as a result of his inhumane treatment in the brutal USA jail where he is imprisoned, who should be held responsible ? ? ?-->
Sunday, March 4, 2012
I don't recall any election for the USA as 'World Government' or international head of jurisprudence! HOW HAVE WE allowed this situation to come about? Neglect or treasonable action by our various governments in recent years? Time for a REAL CHANGE!-->
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Nigel Farage vows to fight against the extradition of Chris Tappin - News - Kent News