McKinnon launches second extradition challenge
Belt and braces strategy
A judicial review of former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith's handling of the Gary McKinnon extradition proceedings began in London today.
The hearing, which is expected to last two days, will consider whether Smith acted correctly in allowing extradition proceedings against the UFO-hunter-turned-hacker to proceed, despite his recent diagnosis with Asperger's Syndrome.
Separately, McKinnon's legal team recently launched a legal objection against a February decision by the Crown Prosecution Service not to prosecute McKinnon in the UK. McKinnon signed a confession to hacking offences, but UK prosecutors decided that this still constituted insufficient evidence for a case. US prosecutors, by contrast, aren't obliged to present any evidence in order to secure extradition, under the terms of the one-sided extradition treaty between the US and UK.
Karen Todner, of McKinnon's solicitors Kaim Todner, told El Reg that the application for a judicial review - examining the Director of Public Prosecution's decision not to charge McKinnon in the UK - was separate to the judicial review of the Home Office's handling of the case.
The legal review of the Home Office's decision-making process focuses solely on the implications of Aspergers's Syndrome diagnosis. The judicial review on the DPP's decision, meanwhile, could consider a far wider range of factors. These included the human rights aspects of the case, Janis Sharp, McKinnon's mum, explained.
The dual judicial review strategy represents a belt and braces approach towards blocking McKinnon's extradition to the US, for hacking into US military and NASA systems back in 2001 and 2002. McKinnon and his supporters have consistently argued that he ought to be tried for these offences at home in Britain, if anywhere.
Sharp remains upbeat that this week's judicial review against the Home Office will come out in favour of her son, who has been fighting against extradition since 2005.
"The grounds for the judicial review of Jacqui Smith's decision, in that she didn't take Asperger's into account, are strong," Sharp explained in an email to El Reg. "It's all witness statements and a very powerful one is the case of a young man named William Billy Cottrell, who has Asperger's and is imprisoned in California, where his treatment is horrendous."
McKinnon was only diagnosed with a mild form of autism late last year. The possible effect of a US trial and imprisonment on his condition wasn't considered during earlier proceedings, including failed appeals to the House of Lords and the European Court of Human Rights last summer. These failed appeals focused on allegations of bullying during plea bargaining negotiations and questions of whether McKinnon might be allowed to return to serve part of any sentence a US court might impose back in the UK. ®
An attack on one....
....is an attack on all.
A hard lesson that a couple of goverments are about to learn.
StarTrek is here. We have transporter technology!
"But if you visit the US then you're bound by their laws. Generally you're under the law of the county where your actions happen. The tricky bit with computers is defining where the action is. The servers are in the US, so it's not unreasonable to consider whether the crime was committed in that country."
If you take my earlier gay analogy then, if photographs of me commiting a homosexual act appear on an Iranian server, does that mean I should be sent to Iran to be hanged? Of course not, because in the UK, being gay isn't a crime. Hacking IS a crime in the UK though, so its UK law that he broke. He used a computer located in the UK, and he was located here while he was using it.
He did not at any point during his offence physically enter US sovereign territory or a US embassy, nor was he located in a neutral location like the mid Atlantic on a boat or aircraft. It doesn't matter a hoot where the computers he hacked were located, his illegal activity began and ended in the UK because the only law he was subject to at the time of the crime was UK law. (Unless the title of this post has come true - maybe thats what he found?)
If this basic fact is to be ignored, then am I to assume that because I have posted on American servers, critical threads about US government activities, I am to be tried under US treason laws?
Its William Wallace all over again. Wheres my tinfoil hat?
Money, money, money puts the Lawyers into Ambulance Chasing Spin Mode.
"More to the point, the UK has other international obligations to ensure that it doesn't extradite people to regimes that practice indefinite detention without trial, torture and judicial murder." .... By Steen Hive Posted Wednesday 10th June 2009 09:32 GMT
Should that be the case, Steen Hive, then the extradition and prosecution are a malicious and perverse farce, perpetrated by those whom one would have thought would know better? It is though not surprising just how easy so many are bought for a wad of cash/fistful of dollars.
Prostitution and Pimping is everywhere, and in so many different forms too.
[Crikey, an Automatic Handle Update handled sublimely. Bravo El Reg]