hms iron duke

hms iron duke

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Christopher Tappin Update

Alphen, the Netherlands.  1 March.  You may recall that last week 65 year-old Englishman Mr Christopher Tappin was extradited to the US under the terms of a wholly unbalanced extradition treaty.  Under the treaty British citizens are deemed to enjoy an inferior status to American citizens.  Even though Mr Tappin's alleged crimes never took place in the US the Americans who demanded his extradition were able to do so because the British Government refuses to afford the same level of legal protection to British citizens as the Americans insist are applied to their own.  Today I have learnt that Mr Tappin, who is yet to face trial and is therefore innocent, is in solitary confinement, has had all reading materials confiscated, is forced to stay in his cell 23 hours out of 24, with lights shining 24 hours out of 24.  The aim seems to be to cower Mr Tappin into accepting a plea bargain and plead guilty even if he is, as he claims, innocent.  I am a friend and ally of the United States and have long stood up for the US often at a profound cost to my career here in Europe.  I will remain a friend of the United States.  However, the treatment of Mr Tappin is shaking my belief in American justice.  I am particularly saddened that a citizen of such a close ally should be treated as though the presumption of innocence no longer exists - a concept of justice that both America and England are meant to share and for which we have fought wars together.  As for the British Government it is doing little or nothing to protect a British citizen.  Nothing new there then. Were Mr Tappin a foreign national the British Government would be pulling all the stops out...and getting the British taxpayer to fund the bill.  As Mr Tappin said, "It is a disgrace". 

Julian Lindley-French  

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