McKinnon UK trial decision delayed
Hacker has to hang around
A decision on whether or not to prosecute Pentagon hacker Gary McKinnon in the UK may come later than expected.
As part of his fight against extradition to the US on hacking charges, McKinnon offered a signed confession to UK prosecutors through his lawyers in December. A UK prosecution would at least suspend, and possibly negate, long-running attempts to haul McKinnon over to the US.
McKinnon's solicitor, Karen Todner, received confirmation from the office of the director of public prosecutions on 15 January informing her that the request to try McKinnon was under consideration and a decision should come through within four weeks.
Almost a month later there's still no word on a decision. We asked a Crown Prosecution Service media representatives when a ruling was likely, but are yet to hear back. We'll update this story as and when we hear more.
McKinnon has admitted computer hacking offences contrary to the UK's Computer Misuse Act, punishable by a maximum sentence of up to five years behind bars. The former sysadmin was recently diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, something that would act as a strong mitigating factor when it comes to sentencing in both the US and UK systems.
McKinnon and his supporters argue that if he faced US justice he might be tried under anti-terrorism legislation, and could face a prison sentence of up to 70 years' imprisonment.
However, during a failed House of Lords appeal against extradition a US sentence in the range of 8-10 years was cited, and this is probably a more reliable benchmark. McKinnon's diagnosis with Asperger's Syndrome was only made after failed appeals to the House of Lords and the European Court of Human Rights last summer.
McKinnon and his supporters have consistently sought a UK trial during a long-running campaign against extradition now entering its fourth year. Last month judges agreed to review the Home Secretary's decision to go ahead with extradition proceedings against the London-based Scot, despite his recent diagnosis. McKinnon's campaign has over recent months gained the support of autism experts, who argue he doesn't deserve a custodial sentence anywhere. ®
The "costs" associated with the case, that the US is claiming he caused X dollars of damage, is the cost of actually securing their systems. He didn't cause x dollars of damage, he caused the US military etc to notice that their systems were wide open. To return the systems to the state they were in before mckinnon gained access to them would cost them almost nothing.
Also, what happened to not allowing laws to be applied retroactively?
Aliens, cos thats what he claims to have been looking for.
Sorry, my post was replying to AC 15:47, not yours, which I largely agree with. It was a long day.
Paris, because even she would not have got the title wrong - d'oh.
Location of the crime is important when it comes to extradition. You say the crime wasn't done in America.
When it comes to IT, IT crimes are different to most other crimes in that there are two elements: the actor and the effected system, and as we know they can be in different countries.
I suspect, the extradition law and other relevant laws are written such that extradition can be granted if the target of the crime is in the USA, irrespective of where the person actually was when the crime was committed. (of course, the person conducting the crime would have to be in a country with whom the American's have an extradition treaty).
There's no question the guy is being made a scapegoat. And I think that alone should justify him being tried in the UK under our own legislation.