A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Monday, March 05, 2012

Christopher Tappin denied bail in bizarre court hearing

A correctional center - Texas style - for correcting people!
It doesn't surprise me. The judge at the hearing today thought Christopher Tappin "might pose a danger to the community".  First crazy piece of logic. Home grown lunatics are more of a problem. Then it was suggested he might be a flight risk. Second piece of crazy logic. He was prepared to be electronically tagged and heavily monitored. How he could possibly be a flight risk is beyond credible understanding. But then this is not about credible understanding. An ostrich has a better chance of flying to the moon. The judge obviously had little faith in the abilities of those who would be watching over Tappin. He must have been seeing too many movies.

All this of course is about the prosecutors trying to get Tappin to plead guilty so he gets a lesser sentence. As he has "no intention" of doing so, they may have to think of some other ruse. They obviously have completely abandoned any pretence of the notion of presumed innocence. That high principle does not fit in with the big business that is the court system.

Christopher Tappin might be seen as an old duffer trying to hoodwink the US authorities, but they may come to regret all this. Once in a while one character gets up and says to himself "Bugger this, I'm not taking their rubbish!". That guy may be Tappin.


The judge did not deny bail because he thought Tappin "might pose a danger to the community", as you wrongly claim. While this was claimed by prosecutors, it was not accepted by the judge and, therefore, was not a reason for bail being denied.

As the court records show, the judge denied Tappin bail for one reason only: He considered Tappin was a flight risk.

The quality of reporting and comments about the Tappin case in the UK is truly appalling and extraordinarily ignorant.

The US legal system is light years ahead of the UK's in actually dispensing justice and considerably more transparent. Any member of the public can view and download details of this case from the US federal court web-site at http://www.pacer.gov.

David Marchant (a British national living in the USA)
Publisher, OffshoreAlert

Well, if "the US legal system is light years ahead of the UK's" how come so many of the accused are forced into plea bargaining games? Over 90%. There surely is nothing transparent about plea bargaining.

And none of the charges against Tappin could be heard in an English court. This extradition treaty allows US law to be upheld in England without a trial. This is not right. At least a hearing is right and proper.

Your opinions might not be so generous if you ever got arrested and found "honest answers" not enough.

If Christopher Tappin is found guilty he should do the time accordingly. However, it is perfectly reasonable to comment on conditions and the methods used in the judicial process. Your opinions are not necessarily God-given facts.

Let the trial proceed. I am intrigued by this case possibly because Mr. Tappin is like an adversary of Section in a "La Femme Nikita" episode. On the surface, one would not consider this guy an arms dealer. But lo and behold selling these stinger missile batteries was just the latest in a string of middle east arms deals for the wealthy aristocrat.

Re. "Well, if "the US legal system is light years ahead of the UK's" how come so many of the accused are forced into plea bargaining games?"

Defendants are not "forced into" anything. What a bizarre notion. All plea agreements are voluntarily entered into and defendants typically plead guilty because 1. there is ample evidence that they committed the offence(s); and 2. If they chance their arm at trial and are found guilty, they know they will receive real punishment (unlike the light tap on the wrist that is common in Britain).

It's worth noting that the NatWest Three were free on bail pending trial and they pleaded guilty because the evidence against them was overwhelming. I know because I downloaded the evidence from the extremely transparent US court system.

Similarly, there is compelling evidence against Tappin, of whom US investigators had never heard until one of the other defendants implicated him and agreed to turn over emails and go undercover to obtain additional evidence.

The widespread support that the NatWest wide-boys and Tappin - who cuts a Pythonesque figure of pomposity and self-delusion - receive in Britain is a national embarrassment.

Like all Brits, I was brainwashed into believing that the British legal system is the best in the world and it took me many years of living outside the country and seeing it first-hand (I investigate international serious financial crime for a living) before I realized that it is a very poor system that seldom delivers justice or anything that resembles.

By the way, the batteries that Tappin claimed that he thought were to be used in cars had a life-span of one or two minutes (before they, literally, exploded), according to US investigators.

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