May 23 2013 Latest news:
Joshua Fowler, Reporter
Friday, October 26, 2012
Retired Orpington businessman Christopher Tappin is set to change his plea to guilty when he appears in US court next month after reaching a deal with prosecutors.
The 65-year-old, Larch Dene, Farnborough Park, will appear in court next week having previously denied attempting to sell 50 Oxide batteries for Iranian surface-to-air milles.
Mr Tappin was due to go on trial in Texas on November 5 and if convicted could have faced up to 35 years in prison.
He had previously claimed to be the victim of an FBI sting, claiming he believed he was exporting car batteries to the Netherlands.
The former director of Surrey based Brooklands International Freight Services was arrested in 2010 and fought extradition for two years, arriving in America in February.
Earlier this year he spent 60 days in Otero County prison, in New Mexico, before he was released on bail in April and is now living in Houston, Texas.
The terms of his bail require him to wear an electronic tag, surrender his passport and only travel between El Paso and Houston, where he is staying with one of his lawyers.
Mr Tappin was formerly the president of Kent Golf Union who refused to comment on his change of plea.