A PINNER man claims he was accused of smuggling weapons to America's Middle East enemies as a plot to rid his company of its British owner.

Guy Savage, of Daymer Gardens, was a licenced arms dealer supplying M16 assault rifles to the US Government through his company Sabre Defence Industries, which had a gun factory in Northolt.

The 42-year-old has been indicted in America for alleged “criminal” breaches of export regulations and is facing extradition to stand trial.

His lawyer, Seth Levine, today told City of Westminster Magistrates Court there was a conspiracy to force the US arm of his business into bankruptcy so American firearms company Manroy could buy it at a cut price.

Allegations he was involved in trafficking weapons to the Middle East do not appear in the extradition request.

But Seth Levine, defending Mr Savage, claimed US Federal prosecutor John Webb made the accusations publicly in America to “poison the court for Mr Savage”.

He said: “Mr Webb has appeared on TV in Tennessee whereby he essentially asserts that Mr Savage in his role as CEO has been putting weapons where they could potentially be used against US forces – a very serious allegation.

“An allegation, essentially, of putting US troops in harms way.”

He added: “Mr Webb appears to be using misleading statements which he knows, and it can be demonstrated, and which the US Government knows, are untrue.

“They are painting Mr Savage as an illegal arms dealer selling munitions to America's enemies.”

He claims the US authorities do not want a foreigner owning a company that supplies its army and claims the plot involved a bank's lawyer, Manroy and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

He says Sabre owed money to the US bank which called in the debt while Mr Savage was in custody in an attempt to send it into enforced bankruptcy, allowing purchase at a low price.

Mr Levine claimed his client stopped Sabre's US arm being sold to Manroy for $2.7m just in time and put it up for auction, where he says Manroy bought it for $5.75m.

Mr Levine said: “The ATF were drawn into this prosecution by those who were seeking to move the company away from Mr Savage.”

Four employees of Sabre's US arm were indicted alongside Mr Savage and have entered into plea bargains with the US authorities, admitting their guilt.

Savage was arrested in a dramatic raid by armed police earlier this year and both his home and his Northolt arms factory, in Bellvue Road, were searched.

Hundreds of guns were seized from the business, along with company records and a number of computers.

Mr Levine says once they are recovered he will be able to put together a case showing accusations the weapons were due to land in the hands of America's enemies are false.

He is hoping to quash the extradition request by claiming Mr Webb's comments mean his client will not have the right to a fair trial as well as on the grounds of abuse of process.

He said: “Mr Webb suggests that Jordan was the destination of certain unauthorised goods.

“[Computer records show] the US authorities were well aware that the only shipment to Jordan was licensed and for the purpose of a military exhibition and that was a scurrilous display by Mr Webb.”

The extradition hearing was adjourned until June 23.