Feeds

UK Supremes to deliver McKinnon hearing decision

Anxious wait for Pentagon hacker

Intelligent flash storage arrays

A decision on whether Gary McKinnon will be allowed leave to appeal to the newly-established UK Supreme Court will be given on Friday (9 October).

McKinnon's spirited four-year-long campaign against extradition to the US on hacking charges has featured failed appeals to the House of Lords and European Court of Human Rights last year. The well-supported campaign suffered a further setback in summer after two senior judges rejected judicial reviews into the handling of the case by the Crown Prosecution Service and Home Office.

Legal options in quashing the extradition order have narrowed down to a possible appeal to the UK Supreme Court.

Any hearing would consider the impact of McKinnon's diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome against the stress of a US trial and likely imprisonment. Earlier failed appeals focused on the alleged strong-arm tactics by US authorities during plea-bargaining negotiations.

News of the impending UK Supreme Court ruling was posted on Twitter by McKinnon's mum, Janis Sharp, on Thursday. "A Court decision will be given tomorrow as to whether Gary's case can go to the Supreme Court," she told El Reg.

McKinnon admits hacking into US military systems hunting for evidence of UFO encounters, but has consistently denied US estimates that his hacking exploits resulted in $700,000 in damages during his long fight against extradition.

A rainbow-coalition of supporters - including Dave Gilmour from Pink Floyd, Beirut hostage Terry Waite, the Daily Mail, and many UK politicians across the political divide - have backed calls to try McKinnon in the UK.

The campaign has focused attention on the one-sided nature of the extradition treaty between the UK and US. Under fast track extradition provisions in the treaty, the US has requested extradition without presenting any evidence of wrongdoing. By contrast, US courts require evidence of criminality in extradition applications.

A cross-party delegation of MPs failed to persuade Home Secretary Alan Johnson to intervene in the case. However, McKinnon's campaign gained a much needed boost on Wednesday when the opposition Conservative Party pledged to renegotiate the extradition treaty if elected next year.

Dominic Grieve, the shadow Justice secretary, told the Tory party conference that "a Conservative government will rewrite" the extradition treaty, which was intended to be used against terrorist suspects and those accused of very serious crime.

"Can someone tell me how counter-terrorism will be served by extraditing Gary McKinnon to the United States for hacking into government computers in search of UFOs," Grieve said, the Daily Telegraph reports.

"Ministers say they can’t block his extradition. They can’t override the law. But we have proposed a change in that law, sitting in the House of Lords right now that would prevent the McKinnon case every happening again."

The Conservatives propose a change in the law that would require UK trial for a crime committed in Britain.

Janis Sharp spoke at a fringe meeting during the conference organised by the Autistic Society. "We are the only country in the world that will extradite our own people with no evidence whatsoever," she told conference delegates. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'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
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
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.