British Man Accused Of Buying Batteries For Iranian Missiles In El Paso

POSTED: 12:22 PM MDT Jul 15, 2012    UPDATED: 03:42 AM MDT Aug 17, 2010 

Christopher Tappin, a British citizen, faces 35 years in prison if he is sent to El Paso, Texas to face charges of selling batteries to be used in Iranian surface-to-air missiles after being caught up in a sting by U.S. customs officers.

Tappin's extradition hearing will be in two weeks. He said he stood to gain just $500 from the deal to transfer the batteries from the U.S. to Holland.

He denied the allegations, claiming he believed the batteries were to be used in the automotive industry and he had been "the victim of unlawful conduct by US agents".

The case raises further questions over Britain's extradition agreement with America, which has been labelled "one-sided" by campaigners, according to a report in the UK Telegraph newspaper, which carried the story..

Tappin said American customs officers had misled him over the goods he was buying, falsely assured him he did not require a license and lied over the arrest of his business partner.

He denied he had ever been involved with arms deals, but admitted that during his career he has worked with clients all over the world. The sting occurred in El Paso in 2007.

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