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25 February 2024

Briton facing Iran charges loses extradition fight


A retired British businessman lost a new appeal on Tuesday against extradition to the United States on charges of conspiring to sell missile parts to Iran, but his lawyers vowed a final fight in Europe.

Christopher Tappin, 64, denies attempting to unlawfully export batteries for surface-to-air missiles, which were allegedly due to be shipped from the United States to Tehran via the Netherlands.

After rejecting his appeal against extradition on January 13, the High Court on Tuesday denied Tappin permission to take his case to the Supreme Court, the highest court in England and Wales.

Having exhausted all legal avenues in Britain, his lawyers said he would now appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

"We are going to make an application to the European court," Karen Todner, a senior partner at the law firm Kaim Todner Solicitors, told AFP.

"We've asked the home secretary (interior minister) for an undertaking not to extradite him for the next 14 days pending a decision from the European court."

Tappin could face 35 years in jail if convicted.

He has said he believed he was exporting batteries for the car industry in the Netherlands, although US authorities say he also told customs officials his shipments were destined for an oil company in Norway.

Tappin also insists he was unaware that batteries he had sourced in the United States were destined for Iran and says he was caught up in a US customs sting.