Video: British businessman Christopher Tappin handed over to US Marshals for extradition
RETIRED British businessman Christopher Tappin described his treatment as a "disgrace" today as he arrived at Heathrow police station to be handed over to US marshals and taken to America to face arms dealing charges.
Mr Tappin, who fought a two-year battle against extradition, faces up to 35 years in jail if convicted of conspiring to sell components for Iranian missiles.
He is the latest Briton to fight and lose an extradition battle with the US and his case increases pressure on David Cameron's Government to review the arrangements.
Arriving at the police station this morning he said: "I look to Mr Cameron to look after my rights and he has failed to do so.
"I have no rights. Abu Qatada is walking the streets of London today and we cannot extradite him. He has more rights than I have.
"If I was a terrorist I would not be going to America. I think it's a shame, a disgrace.
"The Conservative government, while in opposition, promised to reform the law and they failed to do so and they've let me down, they've let you down, they've let the whole country down."
Mr Tappin, who is accused of conspiring to sell components for Iranian missiles, will meet the marshals at Heathrow police station and be taken to the US where he could face 35 years in jail.
The 65-year-old golf enthusiast is the latest Briton to fight and lose an extradition battle with the US and his case increases pressure on the Government to review the arrangements.
David Cameron said on Wednesday that the Government would carry out a ''proper, sober and thoughtful'' review.
But the Prime Minister added that it was important to remember that extradition treaties ''show respect to each other's judicial processes and make sure that people who are accused of crimes are tried for those crimes''.
''Britain can benefit from that as well,'' he said.
Mr Tappin is one of a series of cases, including that of alleged hacker Gary McKinnon, which has fuelled concerns over the extradition arrangements between the UK and US.
The Home Office was yesterday accused of a cover-up over its failure to publish the evidence behind a controversial review of extradition laws.
Dominic Raab, the Tory MP, warned the public might think there “was something to hide” as he called on the department to release the information given to Sir Scott Baker’s review.
Campaigners have argued that the deal is biased in favour of America while the US has insisted it is balanced and fair.
A review by retired judge Sir Scott Baker last year concluded the arrangements were not biased and did not need reform.
Mr Raab has repeatedly asked for all the evidence given to the review to be published but in vain.
In the Commons yesterday, he told the Leader of the House Sir George Young: “The Baker review into extradition was published in October.
"Four months on the publication of all of its evidence has been blocked by Home Office officials with no explanation.
"Having tried all the usual channels, can I ask you to convey to ministers the risk that this lack of transparency undermines the ostensible independence of the review as well as parliamentary scrutiny and risks, however unfairly, creating the perception that there may be something to hide in the evidence."
Sir George said Theresa May, the Home Secretary, was reviewing the report and added: "I will bring to her attention the specific issue you have raised about the non-publication of certain documents which are in the Home Office's possession."
Critics argue that it is unfair for the US to require "sufficient evidence to establish probable cause" before agreeing to extradite anyone to the UK, while Britons are not afforded the same protection.
But Sir Scott Baker’s report said: "There is no practical difference between the information submitted to and from the United States."
A Commons debate led by Mr Raab in December passed a motion calling on the Government to review the 2003 Extradition Treaty.
Mr Tappin, 64, was due to surrender to US Marshals at Heathrow airport this morning after the European Court of Human Rights last week rejected his plea to hear his case.
He retired from his import and export company in 2008 but was arrested two years later after the US asked for his extradition.
He is alleged to have tried to buy five industrial batteries, which he claims he thought were for use in the car industry, between 2005 and 2007.
However, they were actually EaglePicher brand batteries, a key component of the US Army's Hawk Air Defence Missile, which were being sought by Iran.
It is alleged the batteries were to be shipped from the US to Tehran without the necessary US government approval.
Lawyers for Mr Tappin claim he was entrapped by US agents who set up a fictitious company to ensnare innocent importers.