Man Accused of Selling Missile Parts to Iran in El Paso Court

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POSTED: Friday, March 2, 2012 - 5:40pm

UPDATED: Monday, March 5, 2012 - 9:07am

A retired British businessman who is accused of plotting to sell missile parts to Iran was in an El Paso federal courtroom for a bond hearing Friday.

Attorneys for businessman Christopher Tappin asked a federal judge to release him on bond. The court said the judge won't make that decision until Monday.

Tappin was wearing a red jumpsuit and walked inside the courtroom using a cane.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg McDonald argued Tappin is a flight risk, a danger to the community and to U.S. national security.

Tappin's attorney Ken Shaffer argued that if Tappin wanted to flee, he could have done so before surrendering to U.S. Marshals. Tappin was extradited to the U.S. from England last week.

The 65-year-old is accused of trying to buy specialized batteries for missiles from undercover U.S. Agents with the intention of exporting them to Iran.

Two other men have already been convicted in the case, but Tappin denies any wrongdoing.

The judge won't make a decision on Tappin's bond until at least Monday, which means Tappin will have to remain in jail during the weekend.

A conviction could send him to prison for 35 years.

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I don't believe this person is a flight risk, but if he did indeed try to buy specialized batteries for missiles and export them to Iran, then he should pay for his crime. This man looks harmless, but you can't judge a book by its cover. News Channel Cathy did a good job in reporting all the details in this case.

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