Judge Denies Christopher Tappin Bail

Judge Denies Christopher Tappin Bail
Monday, March 5, 2012 - 4:42pm

EL PASO - A federal magistrate judge denied bond Monday afternoon for retired British businessman Christopher Tappin accused of plotting to sell missile parts to Iran .

United States Federal Magistrate Judge Robert Castaneda ruled Tappin to be a flight risk and a danger to the community.

Tappin was visibly distraught when the judge delivered his ruling. His attorney said his client was expecting a different outcome.

"He was disappointed," said Defense Attorney Ken Shaffer. "He believed there was a decent chance he would be getting out."

During a hearing last Friday, Castaneda was unable to decide on whether to grant Tappin a conditional release.

In his ruling Monday, Castaneda said he considered Tappin's clean record and the difficulties his attorneys would have in building a case, with Tappin being held at the Otero County Detention Facility.

Castaneda said he also found discrepancies in Tappin's financial affidavit, that made him decide it would be best to not grant bond.

Defense Attorney Ken Shaffer said he has never seen the affidavit and isn't aware of any discrepancies. He said his team will request the documents to determine what the issue might be.

While at the Otero County Detention Facility, Tappin spends 23 hours a day in solitary confinement, according to his attorney Ken Shaffer. He added Tappin requested solitary because he was in a new country.

Shaffer also said Tappin has read 6 books in the last two days and was able to speak with his wife on the phone for 15 minutes on Sunday.

Shaffer plans on filing an appeal in federal district court with District Judge David Briones.


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