Christopher Tappin, the retired Orpington businessman extradited to the US in February on charges of illegally selling batteries for Iranian missiles, formally pleaded guilty in a Texas court yesterday after reaching a plea bargain with prosecutors. He had previously maintained his innocence. By pleading guilty, The Guardian
explains, he faces a 33-month sentence which he will be able to serve in Britain. If he had pleaded not guilty, he could have faced 35 years in an American jail. The US department of Justice spokesman welcomed the guilty plea, saying: "In court today, Tappin admitted that from December 2005 to January 2007, he knowingly aided and abetted others... in an illegal attempt to export zinc/silver oxide Reserve Batteries to Iran... in violation of export control regulations."