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Tappin in court as wife meets MPs
The wife of a retired British businessman extradited to the United States for alleged arms dealing will describe the impact of the ordeal on their family, as her husband makes his first appearance in court.
Christopher Tappin, 65, lost his two-year battle against being sent to America last week where he faces criminal charges which carry a maximum sentence of 35 years behind bars.
His wife, Elaine, 62, will address the Home Affairs Select Committee as he is brought before the federal court in El Paso, Texas, accused of selling batteries for Iranian missiles.
Before being forced to leave Britain under the controversial UK-US treaty, Tappin said he had been failed by the Government, branding the decision to extradite him a "disgrace".
He argued that radical cleric Abu Qatada, who poses a threat to the UK's national security, had "more rights than I have" after he was allowed to stay in the UK.
Mrs Tappin, who has chronic Churg-Strauss Syndrome, will be accompanied by her son, Neil, and daughter, Georgina, when she gives evidence to the committee.
A family spokesman said she would offer a "brief insight into the personal effect of a forced extradition to the US". Just last week she tearfully accompanied her husband to Heathrow, before he was handcuffed and seated between two US marshals on a plane to America.
Tappin, who had been caring for her prior to his extradition, has said he was "not very confident at all" about his case, primarily because his UK-based witnesses will not travel to the US and the American authorities do not allow video interrogation.
The president of the Kent Golf Union, who is currently in custody, is due in court for a procedural hearing. At a further hearing, the court will consider whether he can be granted bail.
Tappin, from Orpington, south-east London, denies attempting to sell batteries for surface-to-air missiles which were to be shipped from the US to Tehran via the Netherlands. He has said that, for justice to be done, he should be tried by a jury of his peers in the UK, not a jury 3,000 miles away.