Feeds

McKinnon launches second extradition challenge

Belt and braces strategy

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.