Nov 1 2012
A retired British businessman who was extradited to the United States earlier this year has pleaded guilty at a court hearing to selling surface-to-air missile parts to Iran.
Christopher Tappin, 65, of Orpington, Kent, had pleaded not guilty but changed his plea at a hearing in El Paso, Texas, on Thursday under an agreement with US prosecutors.
His guilty plea, to one count of the indictment, calls for a 33-month sentence which prosecutors have said they will not oppose him serving back in the UK.
US District Judge David Briones will sentence Tappin on January 9.
The 65-year-old of Orpington, Kent, is on bail after being extradited to the US in February.
The former president of the Kent Golf Union has previously denied attempting to sell batteries for surface-to-air missiles which were to be shipped from the US to Tehran via the Netherlands, saying he was the victim of an FBI sting.
His wife Elaine, 62, said ahead of Thursday's hearing that "however upsetting" a plea deal was, it marked the beginning of his "swift and safe return" to the UK.