Tappin’s ‘guilt’ shocks Kent Golf Union27th October, 2012 by Jenny Yu
The chairman of the Kent Golf Union (KGU) has said that Christopher Tappin’s plea of guilty against a charge of selling weapons to Iran is ‘very surprising’.
American authorities accused Tappin, 65, in 2007, when he was president of the KGU, of trying to sell batteries for surface-to-air missiles, and he was arrested in the UK three years later. He protested his innocence and said he was the victim of an FBI sting, but earlier this year was extradited to the USA to face the charges.
He has stated that he will plead guilty after reaching a deal with prosecutors that could see him serving his sentence in the UK.
Simon Naylor, chairman of the KGU, said: “We’re all very surprised. Whenever we’ve spoken to him he always said he was innocent of all the charges and was preparing his case for the trial. He was adamant he was not guilty.”
Tappin’s extradition solicitor, Karen Todner, added: “I’m sure he’s doing what he can to come home as quickly as possible. The odds are so stacked against you if you want to plead not guilty and are then found guilty that 98 per cent of people take a pragmatic view that pleading guilty is the only way forward.”