Feeds

McKinnon lawyers push for UK trial

Joker played in attempt to avoid US extradition

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Lawyers for alleged Pentagon hacker Gary McKinnon have written to UK prosecutors seeking a trial in Britain, in a move designed to frustrate attempts to extradite the UFO enthusiast for trial in the US.

The Crown Prosecution Service is evaluating a request from McKinnon's solicitors offering a guilty plea in a UK trial for offences against the Misuse of Computers Act, the UK's computer hacking law. The Guardian reports any prosecution and punishment in Britain would make extradition to the US unlikely.

McKinnon and his supporters have fought a long-running campaign to avoid his extradition to the US. The Scot, who was recently diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, has the support of autism charities.

A judicial review of the Home Secretary's decision to disregard his recent diagnosis in pressing ahead with McKinnon's extradition is scheduled for 20 January.

The failure of McKinnon's extradition appeal to the House of Lords and a related petition to the European Court of Human Rights last year meant that the Scot's legal options had seemingly shrunk to an oral review of the Home Secretary's decision before a judge. The possibility of a UK prosecution is therefore something of a wildcard.

McKinnon faces a seven-count US indictment alleging that he broke into 97 US government, NASA and military systems during 2001 and 2002. The London-based Scot admitted his action when he was arrested and taken in for questioning by officers from the former National Hi-Tech Crime Unit in 2002. According to McKinnon, British officers who questioned him spoke of lenient treatment and a UK trial if he pleaded guilty to hacking offences. US attempts to extradite McKinnon only commenced in 2005.

Prosecutors in the US allege that McKinnon caused damages in excess of $700,000 in running the "biggest military hack ever". McKinnon admits breaking into systems in his hunt for evidence that the US military had harvested advanced technology from crashed UFOs, but denies doing any damage. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.