McKinnon family 'devastated' by Home Sec's latest knock-back
Options running out for 'suicidal' Pentagon hacker
Solicitors for Pentagon hacker Gary McKinnon are planning a 11th-hour judicial review after Home Secretary Alan Johnson decided new medical evidence was insufficient reason for him to step in and block US extradition proceedings.
McKinnon's mother Janis Sharp told the BBC she was "devastated" by the ruling.
"Gary has been in heightened terror for almost eight years… to do this to someone who has Asperger's syndrome... and suicidal is wrong," she said.
McKinnon's legal options have narrowed to an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights - which needs to take place within two weeks - or a judicial review on Johnson's handling of the case which needs to be lodged within seven days. The self-confessed hacker's family remain hopeful despite the failure of earlier judicial reviews of the Home Office and UK prosecutor's handling of the case that each considered McKinnon's diagnosis with Asperger's Syndrome last year.
"Gary's solicitor said there's still hope. [It's] a devastating blow but [we're] not giving up and will judicial review. We normally have three months but [have] been given seven days," Sharp said via Twitter.
"It seems Government are trying to extradite Gary/do the US bidding before Christmas rather than allowing the usual time a JR takes," she added.
Supporters of Gary criticised the Home Secretary for "ignoring medical evidence" and "washing his hands" of the McKinnon extradition case.
Last month Johnson agreed to "stop the clock" on extradition proceedings while he considered new medical evidence. He wrote to McKinnon's family on Thursday saying that he could not block McKinnon's extradition on medical grounds.
The medical report by NHS consultant psychiatrist Professor Jeremy Turk warned that the 43-year-old has a "fixed-psychological conviction he will kill himself in preference to being extradited", the Daily Mail reports.
Johnson nonetheless ruled that allowing extradition proceedings to proceed would not violate McKinnon's human rights in his letter to Sharp, which the Daily Mail reproduces in its story.
Johnson's decision runs contrary to the findings of the Commons' Home Affairs Committee that McKinnon's extradition ought to be halted because of his "precarious state of mental health". The MPs also criticised the lopsided US-UK extradition treaty that means US authorities are not obliged to present any evidence when seeking the extradition of a British citizen. ®
Brits DEVASTED by Alan Johnson
More to the point, he's established that the conditions to use this extradition treaty will never be checked by a Home Secretary.
And since no court ever sees the evidence for extradition for the UK to US leg, and no court can reject extradition based on FALSE or EXAGGERATE evidence... then any British person can be extradited on any false claim.
You may not have any sympathy for this bloke (me too), but he could be anyone in the UK. Since the person, charge and evidence don't make any difference to this.
Suppose for example, Mr Gonzales demands the extradition of Damien Green MP, claiming he supports terrorist financially. Mr Green cannot block the extradition based on the evidence because no evidence is provided, the court isn't allowed to consider it. Mr Green cannot go to some higher court over the UK and USA (like ECHR) because there isn't such a court. So he gets extradited, no judicial check possible.
The idea was that Blunkett trusted the US more than citizens of the UK, so the citizen is PRESUMED to be bad , and the US person demanding extradition, PRESUMED to be good.
The person is extradited, the prosecuted under the US laws. So for example if the US wants to prevent online gambling, and seize the CEOs of betting companies, it can use this and no mechanism ever protects those people from that misuse of this treaty.
What should happen is the proper check should be put in, US submits its evidence that the crime was done and is serious enough to use this treaty, the person challenges or not, a judge decides, and the extradition happens or not.... no slimy politicians involved.
These political disingenuous tricks that Alan Johnson does, have no place in a judicial process.
Who exactly has he hurt in hacking the FBI's files to look for UFO nonsense? OK, it is illegal, but did he have any kind of malicious intent?
The way I see it, the US are just interested in punishing someone who's made them look like a bunch of incompetents. The effect of which is that they now look both incompetent and like bullies. Also yes, our extradition laws are so one sided, it's just crazy.
c) the US waited for 3 years until the extradition treaty came in and then applied to use it retrospectively
d) they deliberately exaggerated the damages bill (which seems to be mostly the cost of adding firewalls that should have been there anyway) so that they could apply for extradition
e) this treaty was intended to make it easier to extradite terrorism suspects, not UFO-hunting looneys